So many will be lost. All those memories, so meaningful to the individual, will fade away. Their lives had purpose, their narratives were inspired through experience, by the love or harsh teachings of a parent, a vengeful or forgiving deity, a chemical spur in the brain, by the ultimate randomness of interlinked cells or by the biochemical wishes of a scientist.
In the world of Blade Runners, replicants were created to serve a select purpose, some great or minor mission, depending on the wishes of the consumer. But just like any other human being, they consider themselves to be special, to have a soul. So what does it mean to have a soul? Is it just brain chemistry, a series of electric impulses in the brain? The term ‘soul’ is just a bit of language but our interpretation of it can define, separate or even limit us.
What if the soul is not some cosmic gift through natural birth, but the gift we obtain through the manner in which we live our lives? What if the soul is the journey of life, we receive one the moment we fight for the life another? What is the soul but the feelings we have for our memories – real and implanted? What is the the soul but the way we connect to each other emotionally?
These individuals lived great lives but we won’t hear all of their stories. Most of these stories have been lost in time. You hear about the extraordinary amount of lives lost in great tragedies, disasters or wars. In a blink of an eye so many stories are lost forever. We wish they could have been preserved somehow, even if the individual never had a chance to tell their story.
But those who did manage to save, many of them honour the stories of those who got lost along the way. When Roy Batty from “Blade Runner” speaks about “all those moments will be lost like tears in rain,’’ he’s just not talking about his own life, he’s talking about all those other lives, all filled with intense moments of joy or sorrows, that meshed into oblivion.
When K from “Blade Runner 2049” lies down and stares into the falling snow, he represents every other warrior who died for a noble cause. He will be forgotten, he probably won’t be a significant name in the great replicant revolution but he was there, he gave up his life for this very cause. K is just like all the fallen soldiers whose names we never get to hear.
Some will be engraved on tombstones, when visitors come across their names, it will have no significance to them. But they were there. They were part of this great battle. Each of them mattered. Each of them would propel the forces of great change.
Even if the battles were minor, their lives mattered just as much. There are too many forgotten souls on this earth and they deserve a story that encompasses them all. I believe the story of Roy Batty was such one. I believe the story of K deserves to be among them. We should be grateful that such stories, real or imagined like “Blade Runner 2049,” exists to make us ponder the forgotten.
by Chris van Dijk