I am planning to watch Blade Runner 2049 soon, and I'm going to watch the original Blade Runner (1982) film soon, too, to prepare for this film, but what about the three short films made in the same universe?

I heard they made three short films:

  • 2036: Nexus Dawn
  • 2048: Nowhere to Run
  • Blade Runner Black Out 2022

Are they required to be watched before Blade Runner 2049? Will watching them affect my understanding of the film? And if yes then in which order should I watch them?


1 Answer 1


No, it is not necessary, but will ultimately enhance your understanding and experience

In order of importance, story-wise, I would say the short films are ranked as follows:

  1. Blade Runner: Black Out 2022

  2. 2036: Nexus Dawn

  3. 2048: Nowhere to Run

Incidentally, this is also my recommended order of watching, as it is chronological and will therefore make most sense – 2036 actually references events from 2022 which, unlike in 2049, isn't explained as exposition. The release-date order would be 2036, 2048 and 2022 (2., 3. and 1.)

The Black Out is a very significant event that took place right after the original Blade Runner story ends, chronologically, in 2019.

It caused the prohibition of replicants and subsequently the downfall of the Tyrell corporation, as well as it "freed" all the replicants with natural lifespans because they were now practically untraceable (the database with the registry of all replicants was destroyed).

This event is referenced a few times and is key to understanding some of the plot points in Blade Runner 2049, but is actually briefly summarised and explained to the main character in the movie as exposition by Luv, so it's not necessary to watch the short film Blade Runner Black Out 2022, even if it is a much better way to experience and learn about the event.

2036: Nexus Dawn is a very brief scene which basically introduces the Wallace corporation as the successor to Tyrell, basically re-introducing replicants to society after the prohibition. Interesting to watch as Jared Leto is in it, you get a bit of insight into his character and the new replicants and how people feel about them, but not necessary. Everything you learn here is basically introduced to you in Blade Runner 2049 in the opening card of the movie, which is a wall of text that summarises Blade Runner and the subsequent events that happened between 2019 and 2049.

Nowhere to Run is the least important, and only serves to introduce a character that is in Blade Runner 2049. In the short, you learn to sympathise with this character, and then find out he is a replicant, and you see the people's reaction to this. You find out he is a replicant in the first 5 minutes of Blade Runner 2049, so it's not necessary, and only serves as interesting backstory into his character.


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