The dystopian noir classic Blade Runner took place in 2019, a fair 37 years after it first hit theaters. At the time, this seemed an appropriately distant but still-relatable jump in time to discuss the disjunct between humans and extremely humanoid robots, who look, think, and feel human but must grapple with the fact that they aren’t. The first taste viewers get of this cognitive dissonance is a chap named Leon, who, in the film’s opening scene, betrays the sort of subtle inconsistencies of thought that indicate a rogue replicant in need of execution—or, in the film’s parlance, “retirement.” He doesn’t ace the test, but he ends up finding a way out of it just the same.
Anyway, even though he looks like a full-grown man, and also like comedian Doug Stanhope, Leon here is only 2 years old in the film’s fiction, meaning his birth day (or incept date) was actually today, right now, as we speak. So happy birthday, Leon! Hope things end up okay for you. This occasion has not passed without much appreciation on the internet.
The film, of course, has aged remarkably over the years, its moody synthetic soundtrack and rain-drenched vision of Los Angeles setting the groundwork for entire subgenres of speculative fiction, not to mention a long-in-development sequel by Denis Villeneuve due out October 6. It’s a rich world, worth revisiting, which perhaps explains why people are celebrating the inception days of its replicant characters.
Valentine’s Day was Pris’ first birthday, an occasion that has received its fair share of commendations:
And Roy Batty was watching C-beams glitter in the dark when he turned 1 on January 8:
Up next will be Rachael’s incept date on May 26, which presumably no one will tell her about so she can go on believing the lie that she is a human.