|Blade Runner character|
Rick Deckard portrayed by Harrison Ford in the film Blade Runner
|First appearance||Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?|
|Created by||Philip K. Dick|
|Portrayed by||Harrison Ford|
Rick Deckard is a fictional character and the protagonist of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and also the 1982 film adaptation Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott. The cinematic version of the character is played by the actor Harrison Ford.
Deckard is a "Blade Runner", a special member (or bounty hunter) of the Los Angeles Police Department whose job is to hunt and "retire" androids, or "replicants", which have been declared illegal on Earth. At the beginning of the film, a group of replicants hijack a shuttle to Earth, intending to infiltrate their place of manufacture and extend their four-year lifespans. Deckard, formerly the best Blade Runner in the LAPD, is called out of retirement to hunt them down. He is reluctant to resume work, but is told he has no choice and must use some of "the old blade runner magic" to succeed.
The term "blade runner" is, in fact, never used in the original novel. In the novel, Deckard is an active bounty hunter working in San Francisco rather than a Los Angeles detective, tasked with hunting down six escaped replicants, called "androids", who hope not to extend their lifespans, instead only to escape slavery on the colonies. Philip K. Dick approved of Harrison Ford's performance, saying that Ford had brought to life a "a genuine, real, authentic Deckard."
Is Deckard a replicant? 
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (June 2012)|
The film deliberately leaves ambiguous the answer to the question of whether Deckard is a replicant or a human being. Early in the film, it is established that the Tyrell Corporation has created replicants with implanted memories. Rachel, created by Tyrell with the memories of his niece, believed she was human but Deckard confirms this to her by recalling memories she had told no one about. The footage added in the Final Cut shows Deckard has dreams about unicorns. In all versions of the film, Gaff leaves a unicorn origami figure in Deckard's apartment, allowing for the possibility that he knows about the dream for the same reasons he knew about Rachel's memories. Note that not all versions of the film have a unicorn dream sequence and other origami figures are left by Gaff without a corresponding dream sequence.
Actor Harrison Ford has stated that when he and director Ridley Scott were discussing the character prior to filming, they both agreed that Deckard was not a replicant. However, in multiple subsequent interviews, Scott has come forward stating that Deckard is in fact a replicant. Scott also states that Harrison Ford may have given up the idea of Deckard being human.
In the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Deckard appears more likely to be a human; references are made to him having passed a Voight-Kampff test during the Blade Runner recruitment process, and the behavior of replicants is more notably different from that of humans than in the movie. However, the book raises the same question in a different way: Deckard also makes use of devices such as a "Penfield Mood Organ" (which allows him to "dial" any emotion he wishes to feel at any moment) and an "Empathy Box" (which he uses to commune with others in the consciousness of an unknown being called Mercer). As such, even if Deckard is physically human, it is not clear that he is human in a way that is in any way recognizable to the reader.
In K.W. Jeter's sequel novels, Rick Deckard is rediscovered by the Tyrell Corporation, who want to use him to retire the mysterious "sixth replicant" from the group he last hunted. (These novels use the character of Deckard as shown in the movie, not the original novel.) In Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human, John Isidore claims to Dave Holden that all Blade Runners - and thus, both Deckard and Holden - are replicants; but Holden doesn't believe him, and it is also established that many replicants are based on human originals, meaning that a human Deckard and Holden may also exist. This mission ends up leading to further adventures involving various conspiracies between the Tyrell Corp., the United Nations, and Replicant Sympathizers.
See also 
- Joseph Francovilla from page .4 of Retrofitting Blade runner: issues in Ridley Scott's Blade runner and Philip K. Dick's Do androids dream of electric sheep? Judith Kerman (critical essays retrieved 12:57 2011-11-02
- Joseph Francovilla from page .10 of Retrofitting Blade runner: issues in Ridley Scott's Blade runner and Philip K. Dick's Do androids dream of electric sheep? Judith Kerman (critical essays retrieved 12:57 2011-11-02
- © 2006–2008 This Distracted Globe
- The Official Bladerunner magazine©2000
- P.K. Dick Interview
- P.K. Dick Interview
- (webste brmovie.com)webpage discussing specifically: Is Deckard a Replicant? -retrieved 00:20, 19 December 2005
- BBC News - Blade Runner riddle solved retrieved 00:20, 19 December 2005 [article dated Sunday, 9 July, 2000, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK ]
- Interview with Ridley Scott in Wired Magazine
- Marj Kibby [Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The University of Newcastle]journal of interdisciplinary gender studies V1 N2 September 1996:139-146 retrieved 10:13 2011-11-02
- Slavoj ŽižekTarrying with the negative: Kant, Hegel, and the critique of ideology published:Duke University Press, 1993 retrieved 10:24 2011-10-02