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While we are told explicitly what Wallace's motivations are (by Wallace himself, no less) for me it doesn't add up with his actions.

In the movie we are shown and told by Wallace himself that he has a God complex and wants humanity to conquer the whole universe.

In his eyes to achieve that would require a slave force of Replicants, alas "I can only make so many". That's why he wants to find the key to the question of Replicants reproducing (which he believes Tyrell had found, but had taken it to his grave), so that the slaves can reproduce themselves.

At the same time though:

  1. he disposes of a newly born Replicant right away, without bothering to utilize her in any other way, just as soon as he recognizes her as barren. If you "could only make so many", why disregard them with such ease?

  2. the current generation of Replicants (Nexus 9? I don't think their designation is specified at any point, but I mean the type K belongs to, the seemingly obedient ones Wallace introduced in 2036) are supposed to not develop emotions or at least be able to disconnect from them (hence the nature of Baseline test). And yet he expects Replicants to reproduce themselves in order to inhabit the universe. How are they supposed to connect and make babies without emotions?

That's why I think Wallace's motivation makes no sense.

My theory is: could Wallace himself be a Replicant? Could he be a clone of an actual Wallace that once existed, with his God complex and vision of colonizing the Universe, but the Wallace Replicant - knowing what he is - is actually more interested in solving the riddle of Replicant reproduction, because he finds himself and his kin lacking compared to humans?

  • 'Only make so many' isn't really that little, he says he has "millions [of children]"; so disposing of one, isn't a very big loss. – Möoz Oct 24 '17 at 22:07
  • You setup the premise of Wallace being a Replicant, but saying that he cares for 'his race', yet you question that he killed one? Doesn't that debunk your own theory? – Möoz Oct 24 '17 at 22:08
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    Also, inconsistencies in one's actions and words doesn't really equate to you being a Replicant, in fact, it's a very human thing to do. – Möoz Oct 24 '17 at 22:09
  • @Möoz while inconsistencies in behavior are certainly a very human thing to do, in movies random behavior is more often attributed to just lazy writing (compare: well known "House moments", where something on screen is shown or said that points the detective to a specific solution for a mystery as opposed to him coming up with a completely random explanation out of nowhere). For me to believe Blade Runner 2049 is written lazily and that Wallace just acts randomly is just as hard as to believe he's just another "I want to RULE THE UNIVERSE!!!" comic book villain with delusions of grandeur. – mzywiol Nov 24 '17 at 22:59
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As for the nomenclature: they are Nexus 9. From http://roadto2049.bladerunnermovie.com/year/2036 :

Wallace reintroduces a new line of "perfected" Replicants - The Nexus 9.

As for emotional connections between replicants: It is not said they don't feel emotions, only that they can't lie and have to obey. Nexus 9 replicants are very capable to feeling emotions, as we see Luv crying at several points in the movie regarding her "kind" (when Wallace dares her to say another is "born", when Madam says K killed the child). The key is that they obey their masters above their feelings. So reproducing would not be difficult.

As for Wallace being a clone: there is no cloning technology mentioned in the Blade Runner movies; the "cloning" of Rachel is only from a replicant, which are designed in first place, and have "blueprints". Wallace corp. already has "some fragments" of information on her, as Luv states. Rachel's well preserved bones provide enough for creating another one almost identical, but without the key to her pregnancy, and other unspecified details (like her eye color). So we have no indication how hard it would be to make a replicant who is a clone of a human, specially before Nexus 9 technology, and before Wallace's company bought Tyrel's, an interim where no replicant was fabricated.

Also, while Luv hurts from the prospect of the newly created replicant being killed, Wallace only sees them as slaves ("disposable work force") and tools ("keys", "locks") for mankind. His motivations for mankind to survive by "crushing Earth to suit its needs" are clear at least since 2036.

Since he predates the Nexus 9, if he is a replicant, he had to be a Nexus 8, created circa 2020 by Tyrel Corp before it went bankrupt (if he was a "Nexus 7" as Deckard, he would not need him). This possibility would then imply that he fakes his frailty, since replicants are physically superior; his blindness might be a fabrication created as a cover for him removing his identifiable eye. There simply is not enough information to be certain one way or the other yet.

However, like with Deckard's conundrum and K's doubts about his own origin, these uncertainties are at the heart of the Blade Runner ethos, and how the origins of consciousness are secondary to one's actions and choices. And we know Wallace's are ambitious, to say the least, and opposite to all other replicants we've seem so far (who have all good aspirations towards their "race".).

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The replicant he disposed of was created as a test to determine if he could successfully create a fertile replicant. At the level of serving the Earth-bound human population, he can certainly create enough for that purpose. Having that failed experiment around makes zero impact on that. He's talking about expanding the reach of humanity in the vast, limitless reaches of space. That's where he needs to ability to exponentially replicate the replicants. The failed experiment serves no usefulness in that regard, either, and if he's unable to get fertile creations, keeping this one around or not will not impact that in any way.

Plus he was frustrated with that failed experiment, probably thought of that replicant as a failure, and having it around would be a reminder of his failure, which is something high-ego people tend not to like.

Keep in mind that replicants are not the same as clones.

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