We’re not computers, Sebastian, we’re physical.
Blade Runner is unarguably one of the best movies of all time. The combination of noir and sci-fi is genius and gorgeous. The movie’s heart is the feel of it. It evokes future Los Angeles with all of the crappy weather and grimy streets that you’d expect. And the awesome umbrellas, too. This abundance of style can be attributed to one man: Ridley Scott. The production designer turned director understood how to make the future alien but recognizable. And it’s all misty and stuff. Cool. But now there will be a sequel. And as we all know, sequels inevitably ruin original films. Turn them into cash grabs that amp up the sex and violence at the expense of ideas and characters. Is nothing sacred anymore?
But wait! I have here a copy of the Movie Making Rule Book. Let’s turn to page 482, the beginning of the sequel chapter. Of course, we’re too early into the movie’s life to even know if it is truly going to be a sequel. We know, today, that Harrison Ford will not be in it. Which means that Deckard won’t be in it. Which means that it will likely be a spiritual sequel if anything, with future Los Angles as the only recurring character. Unless they get Edward James Olmos back to spout his weird made up language hybrid. That’d be fun. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, back to page 482: “A sequel is not inherently different from any other film. It, too, must tell a story. It, too, must have characters. It, too, must exist in a certain place and time. It, too, must have something to say. The only difference is that it might look back to the previous film for inspiration. A character, story element, location, or even thematic thread might continue from the earlier entry. Those are the rules.”
What wisdom! I’m sure that we could come up with numerous sequels that were not crap. The Empire Strikes Back is often cited as the best Star Wars film. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is the third film in a series. A lot of people think that The Godfather Part II and Aliens are better than their predecessors. These people are not right, but they’re entitled to their opinions. And the Bourne sequels are better than the first film. Are there more bad sequels than there are good sequels? Yes, of course. There are more bad movies than there are good movies, so, according to the Movie Making Rule Book’s decree, it would follow that there are more bad sequels than good. Because there are no rules for making a sequel. There is nothing in the idea of a sequel to a story that makes the sequel automatically bad. When the only thing we know about this sequel is that it is going to be produced and directed by Ridley Scott we have so little to go on that we might as well know nothing. If we are to form an opinion based only on this news we would probably do better to think it’s going to be great, not horrible. But we have been so trained to hate everything we hear about sequels we forget that they are no different from any other film at their cores. If there is anybody to trust with the legacy of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott is the one. The man who created the world in the first place is, at the very least, not a reason to be afraid of the sequel. And has another follow-up to a beloved sci-fi movie of his coming out soon. Prometheus is a semi-prequel to Alien, the only similarity that we know of is that they exist in the same world. Which is all we know about this Blade Runner sequel. So, if Prometheus turns out to be crap you can start to worry. But really, the only sane thing to do is to form an opinion after you see the film. Until then it’s all meaningless speculation. At least wait until there’s a trailer, internet.