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The Blade Runner Scene That Aged Poorly

When "Blade Runner" was first released in 1982, it was mostly a misunderstood movie that became a cult classic in later years. Direct Ridley Scott's sci-fi film is based on Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" As with most of Dick's live-action adaptations, the film was only reminiscent of the source material. Scott's film starred Harrison Ford as Deckard, a bounty hunter tasked with hunting down Replicants who escape their enforced labor.

One of the main reasons for this is the existence of no less than four distinct versions of "Blade Runner." One of these cuts features a "happy ending" in which Deckard and Rachael (Sean Young) run off together. This is generally not accepted as the intended ending as it does not seem to align with Dick's original story. The dark tone of the film was by design, and in many instances, it is what makes the film unlike anything else of its time. However, this can be a double-edged sword. With more recent viewings of the film, some of these darker elements feel seedy and nauseating in today's context. There is one "Blade Runner" scene in particular that has not aged well.

Deckard tries to control Rachael

As one of the best sci-fi movies of its time, "Blade Runner" continues to be an impressive showing of practical effects and questions what it means to be human. But one scene stands apart from the others and is memorable for all the wrong reasons. After searching for escaped Replicants from a labor planet, Deckard comes to find that there is another Replicant right in front of him. An employee of the Tyrell Corporation, Rachael does not know that she isn't human at first. Once she learns the truth, she turns to Deckard for help.

It's implied there is a deeper connection between Deckard and Rachael, so it stands to reason that a romance will develop between them. However, the romance in this sci-fi movie blurs the lines of consent in one notable scene. Midway through "Blade Runner: The Final Cut," Rachael arrives at Deckard's apartment in a vulnerable state, and he takes advantage of the situation (via YouTube). She tries to run away from his attempts at seduction, but he shoves her against a wall. When she doesn't return his affection, he tells her what to do. "Now, you kiss me," Deckard tells her. When she tries to explain she can't, he commands, "Say 'kiss me.'" Crying, Rachael complies.

It is unclear if this moment should be read as romantic, given the year the movie was filmed, or if this scene was always meant to have unsettling implications, which are more evident in the present day. In a 2017 post to the subreddit r/TrueFilm, Redditor u/thenewone89 argues, "[Deckard] doesn't see them as worthy as humans. He views them as objects, much like the rest of human society." Regardless, Deckard's actions through modern eyes make this scene uncomfortable to watch.