Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner is wrought with philosophical questions, social commentary and subtext. Scott’s guess at the state of the world in 2019 from his 1982 perspective isn’t totally accurate of what it appears 2019 will actually look like but the direction the world is headed is very much on course with it. The mere fact that there are off world colonies full of people fleeing the smoggy, dirty world that we’ve made for ourselves proves it because we, in this day are trying to send people to other planets and colonize them. This is subtext in the way that the film does not make a big deal of it, but acknowledges the state of the world as if it is normal and should be treated as such.
The big questions and ideas, though, come from the human/replicant dynamic, the plot of the film being that replicants who are used as slaves become self aware and revolt against their masters and simply seek a life akin to that of a regular human, a wish that the humans regard with an apathetic nature. The humans mock and belittle the replicants and even throw racial slurs their way such as “skin job”. This is quite clearly a retelling of sorts of the days of slavery in the 1800s and earlier.
However, the film also tells the story of men seeking their god to ask the age old question; why?. Not only do the replicants seek to be treated equal, but also to extend their life-span, something that we as people are actively trying to do. The film also poses the question that maybe we might be better than our makers, in the film in Roy Batty’s final moments of life, he choses to save Deckard rather than let him die, and accept his death with grace, something that God is seemingly incapable of.