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Just to recap the scene, business tycoon Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) and his henchman Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) attend an event where a new replicant drops from its womb-bag. He then talks about replicants being the future of humanity (or slavery, I'm not too sure), and how he hasn't figured out how to introduce reproductive traits to them.

All the while, tiny insect-like drones hover around the new replicant, who is extremely feeble and can barely stand. These drones supposedly give Wallace his sight, or enable him to sense his surroundings. One of these drones can be seen analyzing Luv's face, who sheds a tear as soon as Wallace kills the newborn by slicing open her womb. Wallace then orders Luv to bring Deckard's child to him.

So my question is: Why does he harass and kill the new-born replicant? What is the point of this scene?

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    That's an interesting question I even was daring to ask myself (unfortunately, I'm out of votes right now ;-)), since I have heard repeated complaints by people deeming it gratuitous or superfluous, an assessment I don't really share myself. Looking into its possible purposes (be they narrative or symbolic) might really be worth it. – Napoleon Wilson Oct 11 '17 at 20:09
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    @Paulie_D The original question was: "In Blade Runner 2049, why does Wallace kill the newborn replicant?" Why was that changed? I mean I'm okay with it, but is there a spoiler-free policy that I'm not aware of? If so, I highly apologize. – Rapid Readers Oct 12 '17 at 3:03
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    @RapidReaders Yes...we try to keep spoilers out of titles as these are often seen across the SE network. – Paulie_D Oct 12 '17 at 6:18
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Wallace's words reveal his intent...

As the woman lies in front of Wallace, black drones hovering around her, he reveals his ambition to create a civilization that spans the stars:

"...Now let's have a look at you...we make angels in the service of civilization...yes there were bad angels once...now I make good angels. That is how I took us to nine new worlds. Nine. A child can count to nine on fingers. We should own the stars. Every leap of civilization was built off the back of a disposable workforce. We lost our stomach for slaves unless engineered. But I can only make so many. "

Wallace continues...

"That barren pasture, empty and salted...right here. The dead space between the stars."

This reveals that Wallace has been trying to create new models of replicants that can breed - but this woman replicant is another failed experiment. A tear falls from Luv's eyes suggesting that she knows or been witness multiple times before to the horror about to unfold.

"And this the seat we must change for heaven "

Wallace is quoting Lucifer in a line from Milton's Paradise Lost from when Lucifer was cast from heaven and into hell as a Fallen Arch-Angel.

"I cannot breed them. So help me. I have tried. We need more Replicants than can ever be assembled. Millions so we can be Trillions more. We could storm Eden and retake her. Tyrell's final trick: Procreation. Perfected then lost."

Wallace is implying he is in his own living hell in that he cannot replicate Tyrell's accomplishment of creating breeding replicants.

Wallace then imprints Luv with the work she has to do.

"But there is a child. Bring it to me."

As he leaves, he asserts the importance of of her replicant role as an "angel built to serve civilization."

"The best of angel of all. Aren't you, Luv?"

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In short:

  • Wallace's main motivation is very importantly twofold: 1. he wants mankind, in the trillions, to conquer the stars in flocks (the end goal being more philosophical, he wants to literally have man break out of the universe and into "heaven") and, importantly, 2. he wants to be the "God", or creator, who ushers in this ascension to heaven. This primary goal is more important to him than any one replicant, which, while he professes to cherish and love like a parent, it's more that he loves himself for having the power to create life.
  • Wallace, as Tyrell's successor, and suffering from God complex, is furiously jealous of Tyrell's achievement of creating replicants that can reproduce (which would be the ultimate method for spreading this species at an exponential rate, population-wise, the surefire way to achieve his main motivation), and so this fury and frustration expresses itself in this scene. The newborn replicant is infertile (he makes a comment with the word "barren", though the exact quote is lost on me), and so he discards her. This reinforces the theme of ethics involving treating non-humans (especially those designed to be slaves) inhumanely, as well as it reinforces his own god-dellusions of creating and taking life, as well as it is an expression of his frustration.
  • The final point is a bit of a bonus – he is watching Luv's reaction as this happens, so he presumably knows it has an effect on her. The desired effect is that Luv fears and respects him more, and that it is now been shown to her how important and urgent the search for the child is (in order to attain the power of reproduction), so it's a motivation boost for Luv for many reasons, too.
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    The fact that he names his creations "Angels" also points towards a god complex. – Carra Oct 23 '17 at 13:15
  • "he wants mankind, in the trillions, to conquer the stars in flocks." I watched this movie under odd circumstances and was constantly being distracted. How do they convey this? I don't remember it, but that's probably just due to the circumstances under which I was watching it. – user1118321 Feb 2 at 2:35
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    @user1118321 They convey this during a dialogue between Wallace and Luv, in which Wallace flat out says the following: "We should own the stars!" "We need more replicants than can ever be assembled. Millions, so we can be trillions more. We could storm Eden and retake her." – Ghoti and Chips Feb 2 at 13:16
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The first thing to note is that Wallace has a significant god complex. This is evidenced by much of his dialog, especially during that scene. I cannot recall his exact words, but he seemed to indicate a desire to create replicants capable of reproduction, as if he were a god bringing a new species of sentient being into the world.

This explains two things. Firstly, it explains his obsession with Deckard's child, as she holds the key to replicant reproduction, and her mother is already dead so she cannot be tested. Secondly, this also explains why Wallace slashes the newborn replicant's womb because he perhaps does not think that this new series of replicant is capable of reproduction.

It's hard to be certain given that the the movie was not very forthcoming about Wallace's character and that we do not yet have access to the script. Thus this is merely my interpretation based on the knowledge I do have.

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