I’ve made the comparison of the futurama job of Blade Runner to that of the past Slave Runner. Deckard himself has said in the original “There are two types of replicants. Those who do their job, and those who don’t. Those who do, I don’t have a problem with.”
What made me look at the story from the replicants’ perspective, especially that of Roy Batty, was the realization that Bud Yorkin was one of the producers of the movie. He was the muscle producer behind All In The Family, Maude, Good Times, Sanford And Son, Grady, and What’s Happening.
In 2049, Leto’s character spills this rant about how society didn’t have the stomach for slavery anymore, despite being desperately dependent on slave labor. The problem was that he can’t manufacture synthetic slaves fast enough. It was all for the greater good, of course.
It’s the conundrum of American society through the generations. The Southern economy was purely depending on African slave labor, yet they despised the slaves as sub-human niggers. The Chinese immigrants were also brought here by the boatload as cheap labor to build the railroad infrastructure that built the national economy, with little better treatment than slaves. All while enacting laws that made the Chinese unemployable for legit jobs.
Replicants are the next-generation niggers. We won’t give a shit about them, because they aren’t truly human. We will use that guise to show just how inhumane we really are. There is a profound social commentary that we will either over-simplify or simply ignore.
I think the larger profound social commentary is how such a movie making such statements, is spoken by just how many Black characters there are, in the original, and in this sequel. They are talking about our story, without bothering to include us in telling the story.
But that’s Bud Yorkin. What do I mean by that? How many Black actors got rich playing seminal characters in seminal television shows about the African American Experience, under Yorkin’s production company? Do you know why James Evans was killed off Good Times, in its prime?
If you think that I am just trying to make everything about race, just go research all the academic papers written about the original movie. Find one that doesn’t outline the ties to slavery in a future context, in comparison to our own past history with the slave-trading industry.