The film Blade Runner takes place in the year 2019 in Los Angeles. Specialized robots are developed to act as slaves on an off-world colony. These robots are called Replicants. This is because they are similar to human beings yet created without emotions. After six Replicants escape to earth, it is the job of a Blade Runner, Harrison Ford, to find and shoot them on sight.
There are two levels of human beings in the film. The upper level is affluent and healthy. They are the ones who are given the opportunity to “begin again in a golden world of opportunity and adventure.” The second level of human beings is the destitute or unhealthy ones who are unable to go off to another planet. They are trapped on a version of earth that is dark, grimy, and depressing.
Even below this level are the replicants who are treated as slaves on an off-world colony and used for hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets. After a group of six fled from their colony to earth, replicants were declared illegal and Blade runners were ordered to shoot them on sight. There was fear that they would begin to feel emotions, so to prevent this, each replicant was given a four-year life span.
The separation of class begins to close in the final minutes of the movie. Harrison Ford is hanging off the roof and as he falls, the replicant catches him. This shows great compassion, and easily displays to the audience the human-like emotions that they possess. As Harrison Ford lays on the roof in fear, the replicant, who is more physically powerful, is given another option to share his compassion with the audience. He can either leave the roof and run or kill Harrison Ford, a blade runner who killed his fellow replicants. Instead, he accepts his fate and ends his four-year lifespan on that roof.
This action was only a transitional experience for Ford. He was then given the opportunity to reciprocate the compassion or to continue with his role as a blade runner. He chose to accept the replicant’s action as a sign that if treated with respect, a replicant could act in a humane fashion. He moves on to show this to the audience by returning home to his new love Rachel, a new breed of replicant.