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The Blade Runner Easter Egg You Missed In The Expanse Season 5 Premiere

Science fiction has always been a labyrinth of references to what came before. Star Wars aped the title crawl from Flash Gordon serials, and modern Star Trek is a multi-decade sprawling pop culture city built on callbacks to earlier Star Treks. C-3PO is the robot from Metropolis with an anxiety disorder, and Firefly was filled with Starship Troopers props, albeit less as a callout than out of budgetary considerations. Heck, J.J. Abrams stuck a Batmobile on the Millenium Falcon, and an R2-D2 on the Enterprise. Basically, any time that a sci-fi series trots out a spaceship or a laser gun, you can be pretty sure that there's a spaceship or laser gun from an earlier program hiding in the background, itself a reference to an even earlier spaceship or laser gun. It's a Gordian knot of sci-fi Easter eggs. It's spaceships and laser guns all the way down.

The Expanse, the Amazon Prime (né SyFy) program that just entered its fifth season, is chock-full of callbacks every bit as nerd-tastic as those of its predecessors. 

The season one episode "Salvage," for example, features a list of ships that includes familiar names like "Serenity" and, weirdly, "Burninator." And in the fifth season premiere, eagle-eyed fans have spotted a salute to what some have called the greatest science fiction movie of all time: Blade Runner.

The Expanse brings back Blade Runner ads, blimp-free

The nod to Blade Runner was pointed out in a post on Reddit's /r/TheExpanse forum by user millijuana, and backed up by another user, Chutney_Chiller, who is verified as the show's "motion graphics supervisor." It comes at around the 31 minute mark of the season five premiere. Over the speaker system of a futuristic mass transit rail system, a voice advertises the benefits of colonizing new planets. It goes on for a few seconds, and the line in question comes up at the end of the sales pitch: "A new life on a new world is waiting for you."

If that sounds familiar, that's because it's dangerously close to a sentence that has popped up before. In 1982's Blade Runner, zeppelins — the undisputed transportation sensation of tomorrow — play similar messages to the citizens of 2019 Los Angeles, touting the promise that "a new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies — the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure."

The extra exciting part? It sounds like this is far from the last reference that The Expanse will make during its penultimate season. That effects supervisor, mentioned above, wrote in his Reddit response that the Blade Runner reference "was intentional for sure. Keep your eyes peeled, there are many more nods in our adverts for you to discover."