Rick Deckard

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Rick Deckard
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? character
Rick Deckard.jpg
Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the 1982 film
First appearanceNovel:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Film:
Blade Runner (1982)
Last appearanceNovel:
Eye and Talon (2000)
Film:
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Created byPhilip K. Dick
Portrayed byHarrison Ford
Voiced byJames Purefoy (radio)
Information
GenderMale
OccupationPolice officer / bounty hunter
AffiliationSan Francisco Police Department (Book)
Los Angeles Police Department (Film)
FamilyAna Stelline (daughter, with Rachael)
Spouse(s)Iran Deckard (Book)
Significant other(s)Rachael
HomeworldEarth

Rick Deckard is a fictional character, the protagonist of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Harrison Ford portrayed the character in the 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner, and reprised his role in the 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049. James Purefoy voiced the character in the 2014 BBC Radio 4 adaptation.[1]

Overview[edit]

Rick Deckard is a bounty-hunter who becomes a specialist plainclothes police officer with the San Francisco Police Department in the early 21st century, responsible for killing (euphemistically, "retiring") androids that escape from off-world colonies. In the film adaptation, he was/is with the Replicant Detection Division (i.e. Blade Runner unit) of the Los Angeles Police Department. In both novel and film versions, he begins the story as a selfish, self-involved cop who seemingly sees no value in android life. In the novel, his experiences cause him to develop empathy toward androids and all living things. It is implied in the film that he had already begun to undergo this change prior to the start of the film, causing his original resignation some time (around May 2019) before its opening.

Deckard is married to Iran, one of the more empathetic characters in the novel. She descends into a depression over the state of humanity, and is able to find the empathy necessary to care for an electric toad at the end of the novel.[2]

Adaptation[edit]

Blade Runner[edit]

Harrison Ford portrayed Deckard in the 1982 film. In the film, the bounty-hunters are replaced by special police personnel called "Blade Runners", and the androids are called "replicants", terms not used in the original novel. The novel depicts Deckard as an obsequious and officious underling who is human and has a wife, but because of the many versions of the film and because of script, the backstory of the movie version of Rick Deckard becomes unclear. Viewers have to make up their own minds as to whether Deckard is a human or replicant and therefore has a past. The voice-over in the theatrical release indicates Deckard is divorced, as it mentions an ex-wife. However the voice-over has been removed from subsequent versions and so this detail is not mentioned. If the viewer takes the perspective that Deckard is a replicant then the "ex-wife" only becomes an implanted memory.

Blade Runner 2049[edit]

Ford reprised the role for the sequel, portraying an older Deckard who is hiding in the radioactive ruins of Las Vegas, violently resisting intrusion. Prior to the events of the film, Deckard’s replicant lover Rachael became pregnant with his child, which she died giving birth to. Deckard was forced to leave the child, a girl, with a replicant freedom movement and scrambled the child’s birth records to protect her before disappearing. The pursuit of the child by different groups is the main driving force of the plot. At the end of the film, Deckard finally meets his daughter Ana Stelline, a scientist who designs memories for replicants.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047cz98
  2. ^ "Novel Character Summaries". GradeSaver LLC. Retrieved 2012-10-11.