21

During his investigation in Blade Runner 2049 Officer K visits an old Gaff in a retirement home. And of course Gaff can't help but make one of his origami figures during the conversation with K. Now in the original 1982 Blade Runner Gaff's origami were quite a characteristic habit of this enigmatic figure, with much a meaning behind them, especially the famous unicorn origami from the ending.

While the film surely doesn't run short of callbacks to the original, it doesn't lack the ambition to continue and expand the original's universe, story and themes either. So this keeps me wondering what the origami in the new film actually represented (and what it was to begin with). It seemed to me to be some kind of ox or cow, if I remember correctly. Is that accurate? And what did it mean beyond a mere callback to good ole Gaff and one of the many mysterious details from the original Blade Runner?

19

In this movie, Gaff lays down a sheep origami, which directly insults Officer K by implying he is like a sheep, always following orders. Remember, K is a Nexus 9, built to obey and never rebel.

Gaff always uses his origami to silently taunt whoever is watching it, often being symbolic. Just to recap, in the first Blade Runner, he puts down the origami of a chicken (Deckard "chickening" out), a man with an erection (a clue that the snake-scale belongs to one of the seductive ladies at the bar), and finally a unicorn (Deckard's unicorn dream, or possibly alluding to unicorns being regarded as different than ordinary horses - just as replicants are to humans).

Then again, it could also be a reference to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", but that is less likely since that book does not have much influence on this movie.

  • That makes a lot more sense than what I had thought... watching the film, I thought it was a bull, and thought it was implying bulls*** - which didn't make much sense, in context. – Ghotir Oct 13 '17 at 13:49
  • How do you know it was a sheep? I took it to be a cow or horse. – matt_black Feb 8 '18 at 12:01
  • @matt_black it's a sheep. A horse origami would have a thinner body or longer legs. Compare that with the unicorn design from the previous movie. – Luciano Sep 10 at 9:03
3

I immediately supposed that it was a sheep, alluding to the original novel title "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?." He also confirmed that Deckard was a replicant when he said "It was something in his eyes."

  • 3
    I wouldn't go so far as to say the line, "It was something in his eyes," to mean Gaff is confirming Deckard is a Replicant. – MattD Oct 13 '17 at 1:11
  • 1
    Well, the question K asks Gaff is why he believed Deckard had run away. Gaff, ever cryptic and taunting, replies "It was something in his eyes." This is not a figurative statement saying "I could just tell by looking at him," but rather, a reference to the ethereal red glare of a replicant's eyes - "He ran because he is a replicant. Replicants run." Here's something I wrote a few years ago, which expounds on their relationship (I'm the commenter on the article, named "Chefemotional." Of note - I predicted the idea of Deckard and Rachael being set up by Tyrell) goo.gl/6KkDut – transceiver Oct 13 '17 at 1:34
  • "a reference to the ethereal red glare of a replicant's eyes" By my understanding, that glare was meant for the audience; if it was a reliable in-universe thing they'd have been able to use that to identify replicants rather than needing a psychological quiz. – JAB Oct 13 '17 at 15:45
  • Right, the audience is cued in by the glare, and the voight-kampf test measures involuntary dilations and fluctuations in the eye. Either way the "something in his eyes" statement means the same thing. They did reliably identify replicants by their eyes. The wall mounted test unit in the 2049 LAPD office presumably gathered the same data, among other things. – transceiver Oct 14 '17 at 5:33

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