This article is from the Blade Runner FAQ, by Murray Chapmanmuzzle@cs.uq.oz.au with numerous contributions by others.
This section deals with questions that cannot be answered by considering the
film alone. In these cases, either auxiliary material is quoted, or a
rational explanation is offered.
Q: Whose eye is it at the start of the movie?
A: The storyboard indicates that it is Holden's
Q: Why would the Tyrell building have ceiling fans in it?
A: Ceiling fans are very efficient, even in 2019.
When BR was shown as part of the "Los Angeles at the Los Angeles"
film series in 1990 at the Los Angeles Theater, Ridley Scott was
asked after the screening about the prevalence of fans in his work
and their possible meaning. Without missing a beat, Scott replied:
"Well, they keep you cool."
Q: How did Leon smuggle his gun into room where Holden VK'd him? And how did
he escape from the building, given that the whole incident was on
videotape, and occurred high up in the Tyrell building?
A: The 110-story New York World Trade Center that made headlines when it was
bombed in February 1993 had about 100,000 people inside at the time.
According to various articles, the Tyrell pyramid is 6-7 times taller
(700-stories). Since the top of the pyramid is apparently several times
larger than the footprint of the WTC, the base must be enormously larger.
Plus, it is surrounded by four buttresses, each of which must be greater
in volume than the WTC. From this we can speculate Tyrell's pyramid must
be larger than the WTC by a factor of 100 or more and house 10 million
people. It should be easy to get lost in a crowd that size. Add in the
fact there may be other people that look like Leon and you've got an
impossible job. We also know that the Tyrell Corp. security is not
perfect because, 1) Bryant tells Deckard one got fried trying to break in
and the others GOT AWAY, and 2) Batty gets in and kills Tyrell.
Q: What does the voice from the blimp say?
A: "A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin
again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. New climate,
recreational facilities.....absolutely free. Use your new friend as a
personal body servant or a tireless field hand--the custom tailored
genetically engineered humanoid replicant designed especially for your
needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there...."
A: Added for BRDC: "This annoucement is brought to you by the Shimato Dominguez
Corporation - helping America into the New World."
Q: Why can't Tyrell afford a real owl?
A: The February 1981 screenplay was written as:
Deckard: "It's artificial?"
Rachael: "Of course not."
Tyrell would probably keep a showpiece animoid replicant to impress
visitors. Note also that in DADoES, the "Tyrell corporation" lied to
Deckard (that is, told him it was real) in an attempted bribe.
Q: Who is the guy with his head on his arm in the photo from Leon's apartment?
A: Roy. In the Workprint, Deckard says: "Hello, Roy."
Q: How did Rachael get away with killing Leon in public, when she was wanted
dead by the police? The police arrived pretty soon after Deckard killed
Zhora, so why didn't they swoop down when Rachael killed Leon?
A: Deckard kills Zhora in the midst of a crowded street. Leon picked a
deserted alley to maul Deckard.
Q: How can Tyrell tell Roy that "We made you to the best of our abilities",
when he deliberately gave him a four year lifespan?
A: Tyrell probably means they couldn't risk making him any better because
they can only control them for so long. This assumes Bryant is correct in
saying the 4-year lifespan is intentionally built-in. Tyrell also says
"the light that burns twice as bright..." suggesting improved performance
may be a trade-off with lifespan. Since Tyrell's goal is commerce, he may
have turned a biological problem into a benefit by taking advantage of the
4-year lifespan -- planned obsolescence. When Sebastian says, "There's
some of me in you," he might be referring to the intentional use of the
genes responsible for Methuselah Syndrome.
Q: Why are real animals so expensive if there are lots of birds living in
A: DADoES offers an explanation: some animals are much rarer than others and
supposedly there were no more owls left. (Pigeons, on the other hand,
always seem to be plentiful.)