A Brief History of What Happened Between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049

Image: Warner Bros. via YouTube
Image: Warner Bros. via YouTube

Before the cast of Blade Runner 2049 hit Hall H at Comic-Con, a graphic was shown that ran down what the hell happened in the world between the 2019 of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Denis Villenuve’s sequel, set 30 years later. A lot has changed—and it wasn’t for the better.

2019: Blade Runner Rick Deckard flees Los Angeles with a replicant named Rachael.

2020: The Tyrell Corporation introduces a new replicant model, the Nexus 8S, which has extended lifespans. (Dave Bautista plays one of these Replicants in 2049.)

2022: An EMP detonation causes a global blackout that has massive, destructive implications all over the world.

2023: A Replicant prohibition is put into effect.

2025: A new company, Wallace Corp., solves the global food shortage and becomes a massive super power.

2030: Replicant prohibition is repealed.

2049: Life on Earth has reached its limit and society divides between Replicant and human.

This chronology leaves us with just as many questions as answers, so at least a new scene from the upcoming film was revealed at the panel. Of course, it doesn’t have any real clues as to what else happened during the 30 years between movies either.

Ryan Gosling’s character is led into a vast office at the Wallace Corporation. A Replicant assistant explains to him how Mr. Wallace has revived technology in the world, “to say the least of what we do.”


The assistant opens a drawer of tiny silver balls that are actually “memory bearings.” Apparently, most of the Replicant’s memories were damaged in the blackout but some fragments remain as these balls. She takes one of them, puts it in a small hole, and it brings up a video.

It’s a close up of an eye. Probably Rachael’s eye, because we can hear Rick Deckard give her the Voight-Kampff replicant test from the first movie, although the audio is broken and hard to understand. Gosling says it sounds like she’s trying to provoke him. The Replicant says that sometimes it’s nice to be asked personal questions, as it can be invigorating. As she continues to try to make smalltalk, Gosling interrupts her. “Thank Mr. Wallace for the time,” he grunts sarcastically, and he walks off.

Clearly, the events of the first movie are very important to the story of 2049, and most likely why Gosling’s character has to track down Deckard in the first place. Now the question is, what has Deckard been doing all that time since he ran off with Rachael in 2019?

Blade Runner 2049 opens October 6.


Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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Weren’t there like millions of people living Offworld in other systems and colonies? It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to send aid back to Earth, or if worse came to worst, evacuate the planet altogether.