In Blade Runner 2049 there was mentioning of a "blackout" after the first Blade Runner film that caused a lot of problem for humans to determine Replicants' records and keeping their track.

But there was no mentioning how it happened or what lead to it? What was the damage done by it?

Did I miss something in the movie?

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    Not sure if there is a reason for not linking to to actual short, so here it is on YouTube.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 7, 2018 at 16:46
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    @JPhi1618 Based on the question, it seems safe to assume OP didn't know about that short. I'm not sure why you'd expect them to include a link that answers the question inside the question itself.
    – JMac
    Feb 7, 2018 at 19:21
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    @JMac, I commented on the question so it would be more visible and not specific to one answer, but I was referring to the answers not linking to the short. Sorry that wasn't clear - obviously OP didn't know about it.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 7, 2018 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


This is described in the anime "Blade Runner Black Out 2022", which serves as one of three prequels to Blade Runner 2049.

With the introduction of the Nexus8 line of replicants, humans became more violent toward them and started to hunt and kill them. A few of them tried to erase the database of replicants. Iggy, Trixie and Ren, the technician responsible for a nuclear warhead test, decide to attack the Tyrell Corporation server (Trixie and Iggy in a truck) that stores this data, and by exploding a nuclear warhead (Ren's responsibility) above LA they created an EMP that erased all electronic data stored in different places (like police or medical records).

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    Worth watching for no other reason than it was helmed by the one and only Watanabe.
    – ViggyNash
    Feb 7, 2018 at 20:28
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    @ViggyNash Do you mean "if for no other reason", or are you saying the movie is so bad that it is only worth watching because it was directed by someone with a history of producing/directing good Anime?
    – Cubic
    Feb 8, 2018 at 15:00
  • The latter. Watanabe is one of the all time great directors, responsible for things like Cowboy Bebop and Kids on the Slope. His work is worth checking out even if you aren't familiar with anime.
    – ViggyNash
    Feb 8, 2018 at 15:30
  • And this, children, is why we replicate our backups to at least three separate and geographically distributed locations.
    – Tacroy
    Feb 8, 2018 at 15:59

In Blade Runner Black Out 2022, one of the three short films release prior to 2049, it is shown that in an attempt to wipe replicants out of databases in Los Angeles, they detonated a nuclear device above the city. We can assume that this detonation worked similar to modern nukes in that it creates an EMP which destroyed most data archives in the city.

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