Blade Runner

Comprehensive Storyform

The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for Blade Runner. Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example.

Story Dynamics

8 of the 12 essential questions

Main Character Resolve

When Deckard is told a replicant is bad and to retire it, that’s just what he does, no questions asked. But when he’s told to retire Rachael, his love for her overcomes his duty and he escapes with her.

Main Character Growth

Deckard needs to start getting in touch with his emotions if he’s to get past being a killing machine and become more human.

Main Character Approach

When Deckard’s picked up by Gaff, he goes along rather than fight; recruited by Bryant to blade run again, he adapts to the system that walks all over ‘little people;’ when questioning Salome, he pretends to be a petty bureaucrat, fighting and killing her only as a last resort.

Main Character Mental Sex

Deckard follows clues leading to the replicants in a linear problem-solving technique, and also uses binary reasoning:

Replicants are like any other machine. They can be
a benefit or a hazard. If it’s a benefit, it’s not my problem.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 12A)

Story Driver

The story starts with Leon shooting blade runner Holden, demonstrating his ruthlessness; Gaff arrives to recruit Deckard; Deckard tests Rachael, showing how advanced replicants have become; Pris ambushes Sebastian to gain his trust; etc.

Story Limit

The replicants only live four years from their incept date and their end is rapidly approaching—which is why they escaped from Offworld and came to Earth. Batty, the last of the renegade replicants, ages and dies, allowing the physically inferior Deckard to triumph and the story to end.

Story Outcome

Deckard does not capture/kill all of the replicants. Roy only dies because his time runs out. Rachael also lives and escapes with Deckard.

Story Judgment

Deckard stops killing replicants and learns to love them, which is healthy considering he may be one. The screenplay is more specific: the story ends with Gaff chasing Deckard and Rachael, with a voice-over:

I knew it on the roof that night. We were brothers,
Roy Batty and I! Combat models of the highest
order. We had fought in wars not yet dreamed of…
in vast nightmares still unnamed. We were the
new people… Roy and me and Rachael! We were
made for this world. It was ours!
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 133)

Overall Story Throughline


Overall Story Throughline

Blade runners are in the business of tracking down escaped replicants, who in this story are engaged in tracking down their creator.

Overall Story Concern

Deckard and Bryant are concerned with capturing the rogue replicants; Gaff wants a promotion; the replicants want to gain a longer lifespan; the inhabitants of Los Angeles are lured by advertising promises of a better life on the Offworld colonies; etc.

Overall Story Issue

Deckard comes out of retirement because unless he’s a cop he has no status; as head of the corporation named after him, Tyrell lives atop a pyramid, a monument to himself; Gaff is concerned with self-advancement at Deckard’s expense; Rachael wants to believe her memories are real; Deckard’s intrigued by Rachael because:

People have walked out on me before…
but never when I was being charming.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 60)

Overall Story Counterpoint

Tyrell believes he’s doing the replicants a favor by giving them memories; Gaff proclaims society’s ethic:

To defy duly constituted authority is to flaunt the
public good.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 8)
Batty breaks Deckard’s fingers—then puts his gun back in his hand; dying, Batty rescues Deckard from certain death on the roof; naive Sebastian takes in the ‘helpless waif’ Pris.

Overall Story Thematic Conflict
Self-Interest vs.Morality

Tyrell’s gift of memory has a more selfish purpose:

If we gift them with a past… we create a cushion or
pillow for their emotions… and we can control
them better.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 27)
Sebastian helps Pris only to be near her beauty, and he ends up being manipulated in the replicants’ interest; the replicants, created to serve society, destroy whatever gets in their way; Society, personified in Gaff, will sacrifice individuals in order to maintain itself; Deckard, perhaps realizing his own limited lifespan, deserts his job and goes North to spend the rest of his life in pleasure with Rachael.

Overall Story Problem

Society has total control over its members’ lives, leading to a police state where “if you’re not a cop, you’re little people.” Deckard feels controlled, unable to refuse being a blade runner again. Tyrell plays God, creating replicants that look and act human, complete with memories—but not emotions, which could lead to free will. He controls them with a “fail safe device,” a four year lifespan.

Overall Story Solution

Batty and company want an end to Tyrell’s tyrannical control of their lifespan. Through observing their quest, Deckard comes to realize a longing of his own. Being the best blade runner’s not enough—he and Rachael head for the North, out of reach of society’s and the Tyrell Corp.‘s control.

Overall Story Symptom

In retirement, Deckard avoids blade running; the rogue replicants take regular jobs to avoid detection, and try to evade their mortality; Leon avoids his V-K test results in the manner of an engineering grad student; Rachael avoids the reality that she’s a replicant; Deckard escapes from L.A. and goes North.

Overall Story Response

Deckard, Bryant, and Gaff pursue the replicants; Tyrell and Sebastian pursue perfection in their genetic engineering, personified in different ways by Batty and Rachael; the replicants pursue Tyrell in their search for longer life; Deckard seeks love and fulfillment with Rachael.

Overall Story Catalyst

Gaff and Bryant’s approach of threatening Deckard brings him back into the fold and sets the story in motion; Deckard adopts the approach of a weaselly bureaucrat to question Salome, making her suspicious; Salome uses her nude bodily perfection to distract Deckard and attack him, jeopardizing his goal; Pris’ helpless approach gains Sebastian’s confidence and gets the replicants closer to finding Tyrell; Batty uses Tyrell’s obsession with beating Sebastian at chess to impregnate his inner sanctum and demand longer life; etc.

Overall Story Inhibitor

Deckard only feels obligated to pursue replicants because of the negative reinforcement he’ll receive if he refuses, a commitment that’s easily broken when a more desirable alternative (Rachael) presents itself. Distracted from his goal, he forges an emotional bond with her, and has little motivation to retire her.

Overall Story Benchmark

Deckard tracks down the rebellious replicants and kills them, one by one, until only Rachael is left; Batty tracks his way from eyeball manufacturer to genetic engineer to the top man, Tyrell.

Additional Overall Story Information →
Overall Story Throughline Synopsis

Five super-androids, called Replicants, have gone sociopathic and have returned to Earth to try to extend their life span. Deckard, a retired blade runner (one who tracks down errant replicants), is coerced back onto the police force to track down and “retire” them.

Overall Story Backstory

As Bryant explains to Deckard:

We had an escape from the Off world colonies
two weeks ago. Six replicants, three male,
three female. Slaughtered twenty three people
and jumped a shuttle. [...] No sign of them then
three nights ago they tried to break into the
Tyrell Corporation, one got fried going through
an electro-field but we lost the others. [...]

Why the Tyrell Corporation? Why would they
return to their place of manufacture?

Maybe they wanted to find out when they were made?

Why would they bother?

The Nexus 6 was designed to copy human
beings in every way except their emotions.
But the makers reckoned that after a few years
they might develop their own emotional
responses - hate, love, fear, anger, envy. So they
built in a fail safe device.

What’s that?

The Nexus 6 has only four years to live.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 14-15/18)

Main Character Throughline

Rick Deckard — Blade Runner

Main Character Throughline

Deckard has a one-track mind when it comes to replicants:

Replicants are like any other machine. They can be a
benefit or a hazard. If it’s a benefit, it’s not my problem.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 12A)

Main Character Concern

Deckard’s inner feelings are largely dormant until he meets Rachael, his desires reduced to eating noodles and drinking hard liquor. Through her, he rekindles his passion for women, for freedom, for life.

Main Character Issue

In a bleak future world, Deckard operated as a blade runner, removing from society those replicants who try to rise above their station. Now he’s quit and hopes to stay quit, not having to do any more killing, but finds he has no status in society if he’s not a cop.

Main Character Counterpoint

Batty and company come to earth expecting to extend and improve their short lives. Through interacting with them Deckard learns the possibility of a better future for himself—if only he can escape his job again and get out of Los Angeles with Rachael.

Main Character Thematic Conflict
Hope vs.Dream

Deckard dreams of a unicorn—a creature that exists only in the imagination—and chases a future he’s not supposed to have. Though Gaff lets him know the unicorn’s a memory implant, he also gives him back his gun and gives him a chance to escape. Even in a bleak future, dreams win out.

Main Character Problem

Deckard’s manipulated by Bryant into resuming his old line of work, regulating escaped replicants. He also manages to keep his emotions and feelings in check.

Main Character Solution

Deckard gradually moves away from his role as a controlling force of law and order. After retiring a replicant, he attempts to loosen up by drinking hard liquor. Finally, he gets out of reach of society’s control by going North with Rachael.

Main Character Symptom

When Deckard learns that Nexus 6 replicants have implanted memories and eventually develop emotions of their own, he begins to look upon them in a new light. His own feelings develop in the form of love for Rachael and a lust for the good life.

Main Character Response

The Voight-Kampff test, Deckard’s acid test for detecting replicants, works on the logical assumption that replicants don’t have emotional responses. He looks for a logical reason why Batty and company come to Earth, instead of hiding out. He logically proves to Rachael that her memories are implanted by reciting them and giving his source. However, by the time Gaff leaves the origami unicorn as evidence that Deckard’s memories are implanted, Deckard’s emotions overwhelm his rational thoughts.

Main Character Unique Ability

Deckard is the sharpest of all the blade runners, called out of retirement when Holden fails:

He can breathe okay… as long as nobody unplugs
him. Not good enough. Not as good as you.
I need ya, Deck. This is a bad one, the worst yet.
I need the old Blade Runner, I need your magic.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 13)
Just how qualified Deckard is as a killer is revealed in a final voice-over from the original screenplay:

I knew it on the roof that night. We were brothers,
Roy Batty and I! Combat models of the highest
order. We had fought in wars not yet dreamed of…
in vast nightmares still unnamed.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 133)

Main Character Critical Flaw

Deckard is told that the new replicants have the capacity for emotion, but refuses to believe and utilize that information to better anticipate their behavior. When he steals Leon’s memories (his precious photographs), Deckard’s surprised and almost killed by Leon coming after him—expecting him to be on the run instead.

Main Character Benchmark

As a blade runner, Deckard must rely on his instincts when dealing with murderous replicants, in order to kill them first. As Deckard’s emotional self develops, he becomes less and less suitable to the task. He feels guilty about killing Salome, has to be saved from Leon by Rachael, almost dies between Pris’ thighs, and only the onset of senility saves him from Batty.

Additional Main Character Information →
Main Character Description

“DECKARD is standing near the noodle bar waiting for a seat. He’s in his thirties, wiry, athletic, rumpled, used, unshaven.”
(Fancher and Peoples, p.6)

Main Character Throughline Synopsis

Deckard’s forced out of retirement to hunt replicants again. Faced with a new breed of replicants that seem more human than he is, Deckard finds a caring relationship with one of them, Rachael, to be more fulfilling than his career as a blade runner. Exploring his own memories and finding he may be a replicant himself, he flees with Rachael despite the fact he will certainly be hunted himself.

Main Character Backstory

Deckard is called in from retirement by his boss, because:

This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the
old Blade Runner, I need your magic.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 13)
He sends the multicultural Gaff, who envies Deckard, to fetch him:

Wrong guy, my ass. You’re known as
the Boogeyman in every mean joint in town.
[...] You were a Blade Runner in the Four Sector
and after the slaughter at the steel shop
they called you Mister Nighttime.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 8)

Influence Character Throughline

Rachael — Reticent Replicant

Influence Character Throughline

Rachael’s in a predicament—she’s an android who feels like a human, and wants to be treated as one.

Influence Character Concern

Rachael’s lifespan is short—four years—so she’s concerned with living life to the fullest, before her expiration date arrives.

Influence Character Issue

Rachael puts off dealing with the ramifications of her nature as an escaped replicant—that she has a short lifespan, that blade runners will come after her—preferring to stay with Deckard and forcing him to deal with the same issues.

Influence Character Counterpoint

One of the qualities that distinguishes humans from androids is free will—her increasing humanity gives Rachael the capability of determining her own future. She chooses to leave Tyrell, to be with Deckard, to kill another replicant (Leon).

Influence Character Thematic Conflict
Delay vs.Choice

With her expiration date unspecified, Rachael cannot afford to procrastinate for long. When Deckard decides that he too wants to exercise his free will and not to kill Rachael, she decides to go North with him.

Influence Character Problem

Rachael functions as an assistant to Tyrell, welcoming visitors such as Deckard. Her taking of the V-K test reveals how advanced replicants have become, indirectly supporting his mission to defeat them. By not opposing Deckard’s blade running more actively, Rachael passively supports his killing of replicants similar to herself. She does provide emotional support for Deckard, moving him from a cold, heartless blade runner towards a more human person. After nearly shooting her:

Deckard takes out his wallet, it drops to the floor scattering his cards. Rachael picks up the cards.

Let me help you.

What do I need help for?
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 39)

Influence Character Solution

By running away from her surrogate uncle, Tyrell, Rachael registers opposition to his four-years-and-out policy for replicants. She represents the antithesis to Deckard’s point of view, converting him to her way of thinking and escaping his cruel world.

Influence Character Symptom

Rachel challenges Deckard to confront questions he prefers to avoid, such as:

Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Deckard blinks… hesitates before answering the question.


But in your position that is a risk.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 22A)


That test of yours… The Voight Kampff test…
She pauses before completing the question.
It’s a biggie.

Did… did you ever take it yourself?
Rachael waits for a long moment in the shadows.
The clock ticks. No answer.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 82A)
In the screenplay, Rachael can’t face Deckard after seeing him kill Salome/Zhora:

“Then he sees her. Rachael is standing in the crowd staring at the dead Zhora. Rachael’s face reveals her horror. She looks from Zhora to Deckard. Deckard feels her eyes burn into him. He clicks his empty pistol stupidly. CLICK CLICK. Lights from a spinner smear over the crowd, sirens whine. Deckard sees Rachael disappear into the crowd.”
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 69)

Influence Character Response

When Rachael realizes she’s a replicant with a limited lifespan, she pursues a longer life—the good life—and a relationship with Deckard. Her goal-seeking helps him realize there are better ways to live than blade running. After she saves his life, Deckard promises not to pursue her—joining her in escape instead.

Influence Character Unique Ability

As a sexually naive woman with the emotions of a sixteen-year-old, Rachael is receptive to the Svengali-like charms of the experienced Deckard:

Now you kiss me.

I can’t rely on my memory to…

Say “Kiss me.”

Kiss me.

I want you.

I want you.


I want you. Put your hands on me.
After this love scene, Deckard wants to retire with Rachael, not retire her.

Influence Character Critical Flaw

Rachael refuses to acknowledge that she’s a replicant, running away from Tyrell in revolt. This puts her on the hit list of Deckard, the man she wants to get closer to.

Influence Character Benchmark

The more Rachael learns about what it means to be a replicant on Earth, the more she wants to live the rest of her life as the person her implanted memories tell her she is.

More Influence Character Information →
Influence Character Description

“[...] a beautiful woman in her late twenties dressed with taste and dignity.”
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 22A)

Influence Character Throughline Synopsis

Rachael’s an advanced android, a replicant with a heart and soul. Standing out from the army of other replicants, she wants to be all she can be. Her humanity rubs off on Deckard, who comes to love her as much as life itself.

Influence Character Backstory

As Tyrell explains the new breed of replicants to Deckard:

After all, they are emotionally inexperienced,
with only a few years in which to store up
the experiences which you and I take for
granted. If we gift them with a past… we create
a cushion or pillow for their emotions…
and we can control them better.

They want memories? [...]

In the case of Rachael, I simply copied and
regenerated cells from the brain of my
sixteen-year-old niece. Rachael remembers what
my little niece remembers.

Relationship Story Throughline


Relationship Story Throughline

Deckard’s assumptions and negative attitude towards replicants is constantly challenged by Rachael, a replicant who seems to be more human than he is:

Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Deckard blinks… hesitates before answering the question.

(Fancher and Peoples, p. 22A)

That test of yours… The Voight Kampff test…
She pauses before completing the question. It’s a biggie.

Did… did you ever take it yourself?
Rachael waits for a long moment in the shadows.
The clock ticks. No answer.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 82-82A)

Relationship Story Concern

Deckard gives Rachael the V-K test, and is the first to suggest to her that she’s a replicant. She finds it difficult to accept that identity, and repeatedly tries to prove she’s human. She shows him photographic evidence of her past, the same kind that he has. When he lets his emotions surface and becomes more human, he realizes he’s a replicant and what that implies, and he and Rachael become a couple on the run.

Relationship Story Issue

After Rachael saves Deckard’s life by killing Leon, Deckard pledges not to hunt her down if she goes North, even though he’s been ordered to kill her. After making love with her his commitment deepens, and he goes North with her.

Relationship Story Counterpoint

Deckard is recognized as the best blade runner for this mission, which ultimately involves killing Rachael. But after denying her the validity of her memories, he reneges on his position in an attempt to make her feel better:

Right. I made it all up. You’re not a replicant.
It was a nasty joke. Go home.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 41)

Relationship Story Thematic Conflict
Commitment vs.Responsibility

Deckard’s commitment to a relationship with Rachael wins out over his job responsibilities when he goes North with her, even though Bryant will surely send a blade runner after them and she may not live much longer.

Relationship Story Problem

Deckard’s blind faith in his role as blade runner is questioned when the most compassionate, ‘human’ person he meets—Rachael—is a replicant with developed emotions who brings out his own submerged feelings. She calls into question his ability to differentiate between humans and replicants with any certainty, which shakes his faith in how this future society is run. Rachael’s belief that she’s human and Deckard’s equally steadfast belief that she’s a replicant causes friction between them.

Relationship Story Solution

Rachael’s disbelief in her replicant nature forces Deckard to rethink his prejudice against replicants. Deckard’s belief that replicants have no memories appears false when Rachael’s mementoes and recollections seem just as real as his, and he remembers a unicorn—a beast which does not exist—and Gaff knows about it. The realization that he’s a replicant himself—along with the dying Batty’s lust for life—peels away his belief system and frees him to live life to the fullest with Rachael.

Relationship Story Symptom

Horrified by seeing that Deckard has killed another replicant (Salome), Rachael avoids him by disappearing into the crowd; Deckard and Rachael escape their almost certain retirement by Gaff by going North together.

Relationship Story Response

When Tyrell refuses to answer Rachael’s questions about her being a replicant, she escapes and pursues Deckard for answers; when Deckard pursues Rachael into the crowd after retiring Salome, he’s captured by Leon; Deckard refuses to go after Rachael if she goes North; etc.

Relationship Story Catalyst

After earlier telling Rachael that she’s a replicant:

Implants. They are not your memories, they
belong to Tyrell’s sixteen year old niece. He’s very
proud of them. He ran them on a scanner for me.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 41)
Deckard refuses to acknowledge the truth about Rachael, as he now prefers falling in love with her over killing her:

The file on me… the incept date, the longevity,
the psycho-program, those things… [...] You saw them?

They’re classified.

You’re a policeman.

I didn’t look at them. I didn’t want to.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 82)

Relationship Story Inhibitor

Deckard’s blunt, no-nonsense attitude towards replicants (skin-jobs) as the enemy initially stops him from appreciating Rachael and keeps her at a distance; his burying of his emotions and memories impairs his ability to enjoy any relationship:

I was looking at your pictures.

Me and my dad.

Do you love him?

He’s dead.

And her?
Rachael is referring to a picture of Deckard’s wife on top of the piano.


Do you love her?

She left me. Went offworld. She wanted the good life.

You didn’t?
Deckard shrugs and continues destroying Chopin. He doesn’t want to answer.

(Fancher and Peoples, p. 84-85)

Relationship Story Benchmark

As Deckard gets more involved with Rachael, he loses the taste for blade running but continues to fulfill the role till he can escape. In the screenplay, he’s sickened by killing Salome/Zhora:

“Deckard’s eyes slowly follow the rivulets of blood that lead over the slope of a blacktop to his shoes. Deckard tries to supress his wince. His eyes reveal that it’s getting to him.”
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 68)
When fighting with Pris, he pleads:

Please! I don’t want to kill you.
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 112/3)
How far he’s grown away from his role as a blade runner is illustrated in a scene with the injured Holden—after Deckard’s made love to Rachael—that didn’t make the movie:

You can’t make a ‘thing’ feel sorry, Deck.

They’re different, the new ones. That big one [Leon]...
he… it had feelings.
Holden glares at Deckard for a long moment.

Whaja do? Fuck it?

Huh? Wh-what? Who who?
Deckard is alarmed. The secret is out.

The tit job, the one with the snake. You stuck it in,
didn’t ya?
Deckard is immensely relieved and confused.

Uh… no… I mean… uh.

You made zig zig, then you aired her out,
and now you got conscience, right?

Deckard doesn’t say anything. [...]

You got the feelings, pal, not her. You fucked a
washing machine… then you switched it off. So what?
You cry when you turn the lights out at night?
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 93-94)

Additional Relationship Story Information →
Relationship Story Throughline Synopsis

Initially, Deckard presumes himself superior to Rachael, a mere replicant. He’s dismissive of her “memories” as implants. Her emotional reaction to that makes him feel guilty, more so when he’s told to kill her. When she saves his life he realizes he can’t kill her, as through her he’s getting in touch with his own suppressed emotions and memories. After making love to her and watching Batty die while celebrating life, Deckard commits to a future with Rachael, however short it may be.

Relationship Story Backstory

The only replicants the hard-nosed Deckard sees on Earth are renegades, and it’s his job to kill them. If they’re good replicants, he has no interest in them. But Rachael’s different. She’s a new prototype, implanted with memories and developing emotions. She wants him. And he’s been ordered to retire her.

Additional Story Points

Key Structural Appreciations

Overall Story Goal

Batty and company have come to Earth seeking life extension; Bryant recruits Deckard to track down and retire the replicants, including Rachael.

Overall Story Consequence

Deckard’s transformation into a more compassionate, loving being prevents him from retiring Rachael as ordered, and the story goal is not achieved. He becomes more human than the blade runners he works with—a consequence of his realizing his full potential as a replicant.

Overall Story Cost

In their search for an extended future, Batty and company lose their lives; Rachael and Deckard, in realizing their true nature as replicants, learn that their future will last four years at most.

Overall Story Dividend

Sebastian derives pleasure from entertaining the beautiful replicant, Pris; Deckard’s touched by Rachael’s sensitivity:

“Rachael moves forward, sits on the piano bench, touches the keys. They come alive, beautiful music replaces the hesitant stumbling of Deckard.

It was you… in my dream…

I wanted to see… if I could play. If my memory
of music was my own or…
She stops, doesn’t finish the thought, goes on playing for a long moment. Deckard is moved by the music. He’s looking at her.

You play fine.”
(Fancher and Peoples, p.86)
She reawakens feelings in him—love and lust—that he hasn’t experienced since his wife left him.

Overall Story Requirements

Deckard must perform at his best as a blade runner—a coldhearted killer—and execute all the replicants on Earth, including Rachael, to achieve the goal; Batty must find a way to gain access to Tyrell, the only man capable of extending his life.

Overall Story Prerequisites

Deckard must go back to his role as a blade runner, against his will; he pretends to be a “Morals Investigator” to interview Salome; Pris acts like a lost, lonely waif to ingratiate herself with Sebastian; Leon hides his identity by taking a job at Tyrell Corp.; Sebastian pretends he can play chess like a master to gain access to Tyrell’s fortress; etc.

Overall Story Preconditions

Deckard’s mission is to retire the replicants who escaped from Offworld. But Bryant, checking in for a progress report after Salome’s killing, ups the ante and makes it harder for Deckard to reach the story goal:

Could learn from this man, Gaff. He’s a goddamn
one-man slaughterhouse, that’s what he is.
Four more to go. Come on Gaff, let’s go.

Three. There’s three to go.

There’s four. You know that skinjob you vee kayed
at Tyrell Corporation—Rachael. Disappeared,
vanished. Didn’t even know she was a replicant.
Something to do with a brain implant, says Tyrell. [..]

Overall Story Forewarnings

Batty’s body starts to fail him, and he has to use self-inflicted pain to short-circuit his body’s programmed reflex to self-destruct. Deckard denies his instincts as a blade runner, refusing to retire Rachael.

Plot Progression

Dynamic Act Appreciations

Overall Story

Overall Story Signpost 1

Holden learns that the V-K test doesn’t work too well on Leon. Deckard learns how society has a grip on him, administered by Bryant, from whom he learns about the escaped replicants. Rachael learns that she may be a replicant.

Overall Story Journey 1 from Learning to Doing

Deckard revives his hatred for all things replicant, even Rachael:

How can it not know what it is?
He starts to enjoy the challenge of the hunt. Distressed over the loss of his “precious photos,” Leon teams up with Batty.

Overall Story Signpost 2

Deckard investigates the clues left by Leon—photographs and a “fish-scale”—which leads him to Salome at Taffey’s Snake Pit Bar. Batty and company follow the trail from Chew to Sebastian in order to find their creator.

Overall Story Journey 2 from Doing to Obtaining

As he finds and retires the replicants, Deckard starts to regret all the killing he’s doing; their number dwindling, remaining replicants Batty and Pris become desperate in their search for Tyrell.

Overall Story Signpost 3

Deckard finds and retires Salome, Leon, and Pris. Batty meets his maker—Tyrell—and takes his life.

Overall Story Journey 3 from Obtaining to Understanding

Pained by all the lives he’s responsible for snuffing, Deckard becomes aware of his own mortality; dismayed that his end is near, Batty gets sentimental in his old age, letting Deckard live.

Overall Story Signpost 4

Watching Batty die, Deckard understands just how precious life is. He realizes he can’t kill Rachael. Finding Gaff’s origami unicorn, he comprehends that he’s a replicant and hasn’t much time left.

Main Character

Main Character Signpost 1

Dragging him back into blade running, Bryant reminds Deckard of the way society’s structured:

You know the score, pal. When you’re not a cop,
you’re little people.

Forgot there for a minute about the little people.
No choices I guess.

No choice, pal. (Fancher and Peoples, p. 13)
Deckard discovers that these new replicants are different—they have memories.

Main Character Journey 1 from Memory to Preconscious

Reminded of his “duty” to society, Deckard reluctantly scrapes the rust off his killer instincts and goes blade running once more.

Main Character Signpost 2

Deckard’s unthinking response to Salome’s request to dry her off almost gets him killed, but then his impulses as a blade runner kick in and he becomes a killing machine again.

Main Character Journey 2 from Preconscious to Subconscious

Prompted by Rachael to delve into his memories, Deckard moves from killing to celebrating the joys of life.

Main Character Signpost 3

Deckard’s capacity for enjoying life resurfaces as he expresses his physical desire for Rachael.

Main Character Journey 3 from Subconscious to Conscious

Sexually satisfied by Rachael, Deckard seeks to enjoy emotional fulfillment with her while he can.

Main Character Signpost 4

Deckard briefly contemplates whether to kill Rachael; instead, he considers how much life he has left as a replicant and decides on a future with her instead.

Influence Character

Influence Character Signpost 1

Rachael’s present identity as Tyrell’s niece and assistant is shattered by Deckard’s V-K test:

“Rachael exits looking a little shaken. What’s going on?”
(Fancher and Peoples, p.26)

influence Character Journey 1 from Present to Past

Feeling betrayed by Tyrell’s deception, Rachael seeks the truth about her memories from Deckard.Rachael leaves behind her mentor, Tyrell, and is drawn to Deckard. He confirms that her past memories are implanted.

Influence Character Signpost 2

Rachael leaves behind her mentor, Tyrell, and is drawn to Deckard. He confirms that her past memories are implanted.

Influence Character Journey 2 from Past to Progress

Touched by his remorse over killing a replicant, Rachael finds herself attracted to Deckard.

Influence Character Signpost 3

Rachael gets closer to Deckard, to the point of killing another replicant in order to save his life, making him more dependent on her.

Influence Character Journey 3 from Progress to Future

Rachael discovers her sexuality and capacity for love through Deckard.

Influence Character Signpost 4

Rachael commits to spending the future with Deckard, no matter how short:

Do you love me?

I love you.

Do you trust me?

I trust you.

Relationship Story

Relationship Story Signpost 1

Deckard’s refusal to accept Rachael’s memories changes her from a complacent servant into a thinking being who questions her identity.

Relationship Story Journey 1 from Becoming to ConceptualizingFeeling guilty about his treatment of Rachael, Deckard tries to justify his anti-replicant stance using logic.
Relationship Story Signpost 2

Deckard convinces Rachael her memories were implanted by calling up visual images:

Remember the bush outside your window with the spider in it. Green body, orange legs… you watched her build a web all summer.


One day there was an egg in the web.

After a while, the egg hatched and hundreds of baby
spiders came out and ate her. That made quite an
impression on me, Mr. Deckard.

You still don’t get it?
(Fancher and Peoples, p. 41)

Relationship Story Journey 2 from Conceptualizing to Being

Deckard’s sense of responsibility for Rachael’s plight brings out compassion in him, leading to passion.

Relationship Story Signpost 3

Under Deckard’s guiding hands, the sexually inexperienced but willing Rachael plays the role of Lolita to his Humbert.

Relationship Story Journey 3 from Being to Conceiving

Having fully realized their “human” qualities, Rachael and Deckard look forward to a life together.

Relationship Story Signpost 4

Deckard realizes that the only way out of this cruel society is to join Rachael in her plan to go North.

Plot Progression Visualizations

Dynamic Act Schematics


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