Welcome blog challenge visitors. On this fine day, the R day, I get to share my most favorite villain of all -- Roy Batty. Roy leads the renegade replicants (androids fabricated to work as slaves and soldiers) in the film Blade Runner, made from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
Roy (played by Rutger Hauer) and his fellow renegades kill a lot of people in their quest to ... live. Replicants are programmed to die after four years. Enough to build memories, enough to make connections, enough for emotions to emerge. They escape and head to the corporation that created them to demand a fix to the four year time bomb ticking their lives away.
You know where I'm going. They are violent, volatile, outside the law and threaten the established order (such as it was in the dystopian future Dick created). It's their emerging humanity and their struggles to make sense of their growing emotional awareness that makes Roy and his replicant crew so complex, so beautiful in how they were crafted, that they challenge the humanity of those chasing them. Of those that declare them the bad guys.
This is captured in Roy' final words in the film:
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain. Time to die.
In that final moment, when Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), he blade runner trying to kill them off, is hanging off the roof after the final fight between protagonist and antagonist, Roy lifts him to the rooftop. In his last moment on earth, Roy saves Rick's life, then dies. Empathy and morality toward others (non-replicants) had emerged. Roy Batty, a monster who killed so that he could live, granted life. In those final moments, he was turned from villain to simply a flawed human.
A must see or a must read for anyone exploring what does it mean to be human, and those blurry lines between bad and good, that society sets down in rules and mores, that we struggle with on a daily basis.
Was Roy truly bad?