TV and Movies

Replicant self-sacrifice revealed in new 'Blade Runner' short

Jared Leto stars in "2036: Nexus Dawn" -- one of three short films that will act as a bridge between the original "Blade Runner" and the sequel, set for release in October.

Replicants aren't always to be trusted. After all, in director Ridley Scott's 1982 film "Blade Runner," Rick Deckard seeks to "retire" rogue Replicants who are hiding out in LA in 2019 after allegedly murdering humans in an off-world mining colony. 

In the upcoming sequel "Blade Runner 2049," a young blade runner called Officer K (Ryan Gosling) discovers a long-buried secret that leads him on a quest to track down the former blade runner, who's been missing for 30 years. Harrison Ford plays Deckard in both the original and the sequel.

But what happened in the years between 2019 and 2049? "Blade Runner 2049" director Denis Villeneuve hopes to clear up a few mysteries by linking events between the two movies with three original short films on YouTube.

"I asked a couple of artists I respect to create three short stories that dramatize some key events that appear after 2019 when the first 'Blade Runner' takes place but before 'Blade Runner 2049,'" Villeneuve said in a video posted by Warner Bros. on Wednesday. 

The first short film is "2036: Nexus Dawn," which runs under six minutes and is directed by Scott's son, Luke Scott. It features Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), who has created a new line of Replicants called Nexus 9, which he claims are an improvement on the Replicants from 2019. 

In the film, it's been 13 years since the prohibition on making Replicants and Wallace clearly wants the law repealed. "This is an angel and I made him," Wallace says of his new Replicant to a governing council that clearly has its own agenda. 

Wallace proceeds to show the council a brutal test. He proves that his Replicant will obey all commands and allows his Replicant to die in order to prove the point that his Nexus 9 model will hurt itself rather than kill a human. 

This is reminiscent of Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics," which states: "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law."

Clearly, Wallace's Nexus 9 Replicants don't end up following all those rules if the trailers for "Blade Runner 2049" are any indication. 

"Blade Runner 2049" is set to debut in theaters in Australia on October 5, and in the US and UK on October 6.

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