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Throughout Blade Runner we see Gaff (Edward James Olmos) making origami figures at various points in the movie. He makes a chicken, matchstick men and at the end of the film there is a unicorn waiting outside Deckard's apartment.

origami unicorn There is a great deal of discussion out there regarding the unicorn in particular, and how it indicates that Deckard is a replicant. I think an answer regarding the use of origami in general will be interesting new ground to cover.

Why origami? What does the origami represent in Blade Runner?

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should it be "What is symbolic about", or "what is the symbolism of"? –  DForck42 Jun 8 '12 at 18:36
    
Poor titles drive me nuts, so I just want it to be as clear as possible (and I had a hard time deciding on the strongest phrasing). Edit as you see fit! –  stevvve Jun 8 '12 at 18:39
    
well the problem is that the different wordings have different meaning. "what is symbolic" implies more about "why" the origami is symbolic, what as "what is the symbolism of" is asking about what the origami actually represents. it's really up to you on what you want to know about. –  DForck42 Jun 8 '12 at 18:40
    
Edited to reflect what I want to know. Thanks for the extra set of eyes / spiritual guidance, @DForck42! –  stevvve Jun 8 '12 at 18:45
    
TotW Winner –  TylerShads Jun 15 '12 at 4:30
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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Maybe it's because with origami you can go from a simple non living material such as a simple sheet of paper and mold it into something that is a representation of a living thing.

Although this might never get a true answer I like to think it has something to do with the artificial creation of something representing life or dreams.

When thinking further along these lines it strikes me that indeed the origami are all artificial representations of something living, yet a unicorn can never be really alive which can then be some sort of an origami analogy for Deckard = Replicant.

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+1 For artificial creation of something representing life or dreams. I always thought that each of the origami creations reflected something that was happening in the scene where we (the viewer) get to see the end result of the creation. For instance, Gaff creates the match-stick man when Deckard is being briefed on the replicants at the precinct, and the uncorn is revealed at the end (of some versions of the film) when Deckard (in some interpretations) has the revelation that he is a replicant. That's my two cents, anyway –  Jamie Taylor Jun 11 '12 at 9:40
    
@JamieTaylor But surely worth more than just two cents ;) –  Napoleon Wilson Jun 20 '12 at 13:18
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