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?

  • TotW Winner
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 4:30
  • Do you want to know the authors' (Hampton Fancher and David Peoples) intention? Otherwise this is opinion-based and off-topic.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 2
    +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 Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 9:40

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