Film / Blade Runner 2049

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blade_runner_2049_poster.jpg
"The key to the future is finally unearthed."

Deckard: I had your job once... I was good at it.
K: Things were simpler then.

Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 neo-noir Science Fiction film, and the sequel to 1982's Blade Runner. The film was directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by Hampton Fancher and co-produced by Ridley Scott (who also contributed to the script). The cast includes Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Harrison Ford (reprising his role from the first film), Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Carla Juri, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Barkhad Abdi, Mackenzie Davis and Lennie James. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch composed the soundtrack.

Its plot follows an LAPD Blade Runner known as Officer K (Gosling), who is tasked to eliminate pre-Nexus-9 Replicants. One day on a mission, K makes a discovery that leads him to a former Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Ford), who has been missing for 30 years. While doing so, he unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. The ruthless Replicant manufacturer Niander Wallace (Leto), who bought out Tyrell Corporation and resumed its activities, is also deeply interested in this secret.

The project spent 15 years in Development Hell before being released on October 6th, 2017.

Three short films were made to fill in the gap between this movie and the first and expand The 'Verse a little. Their page can be found here.

Character tropes go on to the Characters Sheet.

Blade Runner: 2049 contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Loads of them. Two good examples include K talking with Joshi in his apartment, and the "hologram love scene" between K, Joi, and Mariette.
  • Adult Fear: Not being able to be with your wife when she gives birth to your child and your wife dying, and then not being able to find that child after a horrible disaster.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Harrison Ford receives second billing in most of the promotional material but only appears in the third act.
    • Dave Bautista is rather prominent in many trailers and advertisements but he appears only briefly in the first act.
    • Jared Leto appears prominently on the posters and trailers but only appears twice in the movie, in the first and third acts.
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: Los Angeles is just as full of ads in 2049 as it was 30 years before. Only this time it's with giant holograms. The nude hologram advert for the "Joi" virtual woman stands out.
  • Aerith and Bob: On the one hand, Rick Deckard, Ana, and Joi ("Joy" being a fairly common woman's name.) On the other, there's Sapper, Freysa, Luv, Joshi, Coco...Niander Wallace even provides a rare example of the "weird name/normal name" pairing in the same character.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Like Pris, Roy, and Zhora, Luv's death is painful, drawn-out, and unglamorous, and K visibly struggles with having to do it, especially given the small flickers of empathy that we'd seen from Luv over the course of the film.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The tie-ins help to establish key events that take place between the original film and 2049:
      • Black Out 2022 is an anime Interquel that explains how and why things are the way they turned out in the sequel — a pair of Replicants and a human sympathizer seek to "even the odds" against Replicants by detonating a nuclear bomb above the West Coast, which causes an EMP surge that knocks out the city's power and eventually causes Replicants to be placed under prohibition.
      • Nexus Dawn: Taking place 14 years after Black Out, Niander Wallace meets with a government committee in an attempt to have the prohibition on Replicants lifted, via demonstrating a new type, the perfectly subservient Nexus-9 model.
      • Nowhere to Run: Set shortly before 2049, the short follows Sapper Morton as he goes about his daily routine, but is forced on the run after protecting a mother and daughter from thugs.
    • The Road to 2049 website fills in some key details that aren't addressed by the shorts — namely, that the population almost starved to death until Niander Wallace developed genetically-modified food products, which the populace relies on by the time 2049 begins.
  • All There in the Script: Although nothing hints at it in the movie, the script's version of the final scene has Joe seeing a "ghost" of Joi as he lies dying on the memory facility steps, who asks him "Would you read to me?" like she did in their very first scene together.
  • Alternate History: The film pretty much states that its universe's 2010s were way more advanced than ours', and long gone brands such as Atari or regimes such as the Soviet Union are still around.
  • Alternative Turing Test: 2049 features an updated version of the VK test from the previous movie, where Replicants are berated with rapid-fire questions from an unseen interrogator watching them through a camera. Interestingly, the baseline test appears to have the opposite purpose of the VK test from the first movie - while the Voight-Kampff was intended to measure whether humans were too robotic, the baseline seems to test whether Replicants (like Officer K) are becoming too humane.
  • Ambiguously Human: The movie doesn't actually reveal if Deckard is a Long-Lived Replicant or not, instead going for The Un-Reveal when the question is brought up, in order to preserve the mystery present in the original film, and to avoid upsetting screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Ford both of whom have declared that they saw the character as humannote ; furthermore, this is actually alluded to in the movie itself, as when Wallace presents the copy of Rachael to Deckard, he contemplates whether or not Deckard was born naturally or if he's a Replicant. When K interviews a retired Gaff about Deckard, that character obliquely muses that Deckard's a replicant, but it's clearly just reiterating views expressed in the original.
  • And Starring: "With Dave Bautista and Jared Leto".
  • Animal Motifs: As with the original film, K's is a horse. His wooden horse he had in his childhood memories plays a large role in the film. The memories are actually Dr. Ana's, Deckard and Rachael's daughter.
  • Answer Cut: When Joi asks "Who makes the memories?" the scene cuts to Ana Stelline in her lab.
  • Anyone Can Die: Sapper, Coco the coroner, Rachael, Joshi, Joi, Luv, and finally K don't survive the movie.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: There doesn't seem to be much in the way of law and order outside of the major cities, judging by how K's officially marked police vehicle is almost immediately assaulted with harpoons and gunfire when he flies to San Diego.
  • Arc Number: "06-10-21". It's the day that the child of Deckard and Rachael was born and the date of death for Rachael.
  • Arc Symbol: Water and snow.
    • A pot of boiling water is prominently focused on during the fateful meeting between K and Sapper Morton in the opening.
    • The climate of the Earth has deteriorated so badly by the time of the film's setting that it's snowing in Los Angeles in the summer time.
    • When K and Joi leave LA to search for the missing child, the camera cuts to a massive flood of water pouring down from the LA Sea Wall, probably symbolizing the release of knowledge and truth upon the world.
    • The ocean is apparently toxic and clean water is incredibly rare, as K's shower proudly announces that it's "99.9% detoxified water" and sprays him for barely five seconds. Niander Wallace, naturally, has his office in a room that's flooded with crystal-clear water.
    • Luv tells Joshi "you can't hold back the tide with a broom".
    • Three times, the film shows an artificial being quietly contemplating the precipitation: Joi, after K buys her an expensive present that allows her to "feel" the raindrops on her skin, K, watching the snowflakes land on his hand at the memory center when he thinks that he's the Replicant child, and finally, at the end, when K again watches the snow falling on him as he lays dying on the memory center steps.
    • When Luv stabs Joshi to death, the camera cuts to the snow falling on the window outside.
    • The Replicant resistance movement hides out in a building partially flooded with ankle-deep water.
    • K rescues Deckard from Wallace's convoy while it's pouring rain outside, and Deckard's spinner lands half-submerged in the ocean. The battle between Luv and K takes place as the two of them are fighting the pounding ocean waves over the crashed vehicle, while Deckard is drowning in the flooding spinner. K wins by drowning Luv in the ocean waves, and while K and Deckard swim to safety and emerge from the water, Luv does not.
    • Poignantly, Ana Stelline is shown generating herself an artificial snowstorm inside her cell as K lies dying in the snow for real outside, and Deckard watches his daughter, knowing that she'll never have to be stuck making her own snow ever again.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Cells interlinked within cells", the phrase that reappears most prominently throughout K's baseline test. It's a Shout-Out to Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, a copy of which K has in his appartment.
    • "What's it like to hold the hand of someone you love?"
    • "Miracle", referring to Deckard and Rachael's child.
    • "Dying for the right cause is the most human thing we can do."
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Wallace's headquarters. In a world where everything is dirty, cluttered, and overcrowded, Wallace's building is unnervingly clean, quiet, and empty, being inhabited solely by him and few of his employees.
  • As You Know: Though it was before his time, it's safe to assume K already knew what happened during the Black Out without needing Wallace's file clerk to fill him in.
  • Bait the Dog: Niander Wallace acts rather kindly and paternal to his newborn Replicant before cutting her stomach open and leaving her to die just to make a point about his Replicants' inability to reproduce.
  • Bathos: After an almost unceasingly bleak and moody two hours, Rick Deckard returns to cinema screens dramatically Emerging from the Shadows and asks K about...cheese. We promise It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Battle in the Rain: The final battle occurs in the midst of fierce torrential rains. Taking the water motif further, K and Luv's final duel occurs on the beach as the tide comes in and he eventually defeats her by holding her under the water until she drowns.
  • Become a Real Boy: Joi wants to die naturally, like a living being would. She convinces K to delete her from the hard drive in his apartment, despite his protests that the only copy of her will be left on the emitter and she'll die if it is destroyed. Joi then tells him that she's fine with that, because it just means that she's become as mortal as him or anyone else.
  • Big Damn Heroes: K ambushing Luv's convoy to rescue Deckard in his heavily armed LAPD spinner.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Deckard is reunited with his daughter, but K probably dies of the wounds he got fighting Luv. Niander Wallace, the mastermind behind the nasty Replicant business is still at large, but there's also a brewing Replicant resistance ready for revolution.
  • Black and White Morality: Unlike the original film which had Grey and Gray Morality with an Anti-Hero cop and an Anti-Villain Replicant, this movie is more definite on who the bad guys are and who the good guys are.
  • Blood from the Mouth: K spouts blood when being defeated by Luv at Deckard's place.
  • Body Motifs: As with the original, eyes, and, to a lesser extend, hands.
    • Just like the original, it opens with an extreme close-up of a blue eye.
    • The massive fields of solar panels that K's spinner flies over are ranged in circles and resemble gigantic eyes from above.
    • Sapper Morton's eyes are highlighted by the glasses he wears, and after his death, K scoops his eye out to scan it.
    • Niander Wallace is blind and his eyes are covered by milky cataracts.
    • Det. Gaff tells K he knew Deckard was leaving because of "something in his eyes."
    • Ana Stelline's job is all about digitally recreating the sights she will never be able to see with her own eyes. Fittingly, the shape of her domed room resembles a giant eyeball.
    • Luv frequently cries a single tear while murdering people, drawing attention to her own eyes, and she scans Joshi's eyes into the computer after killing her.
    • When Luv kills Coco, the camera focuses on his eyes filling up with blood.
    • During the "hologram sex scene", K and Mariette's movements occasionally become de-synchronized from each other, but their brown eyes are always perfectly matched up.
    • Freysa, the leader of the Replicant resistance, is missing her right eye.
    • The giant pink hologram version of Joi that appears to K has her eyes tinted an unsettling solid red, in contrast to K's version whose eyes are a more natural brown.
    • When Wallace summons a "reborn" Rachael to tempt Deckard, Deckard dismisses him by saying "Her eyes were green."
    • When K drowns Luv , the camera focuses on her wide-open, staring eyes.
    • As this Tumblr post points out, repeated shots of hands are prominently featured:
    • Among the questions in the baseline test are the phrases "What's it like to hold the hand of someone you love? Did they teach you how they feel, finger to finger?" This question is especially cruel because K is in love with a holographic woman.
    • K letting the snow fall onto his palms at the beginning of the movie, and as he lies dying outside the Memory Works at the end.
    • K's bloody hands as he washes Sapper's removed artificial eyeball.
    • Joi's hands as she "feels" the rain on her skin.
    • The closeup of Luv's fingers as she gets her nails done while piloting the missile drone.
    • Luv squeezing Joshi's palm full of broken glass shards.
    • Joi and Mariette synchronizing their hand movements during the "hologram love scene."
    • K watching a bee crawling on his hand in the ruins of Las Vegas.
    • During the final battle, K pulls a Barehanded Blade Block on Luv and gets his palm sliced deeply own for his troubles.
    • Ana Stelline simulating the snow falling on her palms.
    • The shot that ends the movie: Deckard lovingly laying a hand on the window outside his daughter's cell.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Luv leaves K alive at Las Vegas while she had the chance to off him like all her other victims.
  • Booby Trap: Deckard installed trip wires in his home.
  • Book Ends:
    • Easy to miss if you don't read Cyrillic. The greenhouses at the farm in the opening scene are branded with the word ЦЕЛИНА, or "Tselina" (Russian for 'virgin soil'); at the end of the film, the door to the upgrade center reads "Stelline Laboratories," 'stelline' being the plural of Italian 'stellina' ('starlet'). It's not an exact transliteration, but pretty darn close. ('Tselina' also means 'entirety' in Serbian, so it arguably even calls itself out as a Book End.)
    • The film begins with K killing a morally upright member of his own kind at the behest of humans. He ends the film by killing a morally bankrupt member of his own kind so that other Replicants might live. The fights are also a bit inverted: Sapper strangles K and stabs him while they're grappling, but K does not react. K stabs Luv while they are grappling and she does not react, and he later strangles her.
    • The film both begins and ends with a heroic male Replicant laying down his own life to protect Deckard and Rachael's child.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Averted when Deckard shoots K in Las Vegas. He's grazed on the side of the head and falls over a railing and down three stories but survives. Being a Replicant helps.
    • Played straight in other instances, including the final action sequence.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Unlike many instances of this trope, the corpse isn't even dismembered - Luv just holds Joshi up so the system can scan the entire head. This time still captures the usual utilitarian disrespect for the deceased, as the body is just dropped and the head bangs against the desk afterward.
  • Call-Back: K sustains mortal wounds saving Deckard's life during a Battle in the Rain, just as Roy Batty did in the first movie.
  • The Cameo:
    • Gaff (Edward James Olmos) has a cameo in one scene.
    • Sean Young reprises her role as Rachael via archive footage and, in one scene, via motion-capture and a body double.
  • Canon Discontinuity: 2049 ignores the sequel books written by K.W. Jeter (The Edge of Human, Replicant Night and Eye and Talon).
  • Central Theme: Much like the first film, empathy, without hope of personal benefit, being what makes us "real" and human is a central concept running through 2049. Joi equates K being a "real boy" to being wanted and loved by parents who never got to know him. Dr. Ana Stelline discusses how giving Replicants happy memories that she herself never got to have is the one kindness as a human she can give to them. Deckard, who can be seen as either a human or a replicant who became indistinguishable from a human emotionally, states that disappearing so his child wouldn't be killed and dissected, even if he never gets to see them, is the best thing he can do for them. And K, in an attempt to perform one "real" act, reunites Deckard and his daughter, two people he barely even knows, at the potential cost of his life.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Rick Deckard has aged almost as much as Harrison Ford (the character is 30 years older while the film comes out 35 years after the original).
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ana Stelline shows up for a couple of minutes to solve one of K's doubts. She sheds a tear upon watching K's memories, which is a clue that she's the long lost Replicant child.
    • The prostitute Mariette first appears flirting with K before showing up to "synchronise" with Joi so she and K can have simulated sex. Then she shows up again with the Replicant resistance to save K after he's left for dead by Luv, thanks to the tracker she placed in his things.
  • City Noir: Much like the first film, there's a maze of overbearing black skyscrapers and Sinister Subways, a very limited color palette, a palpable air of decay and depression, and giant slums.
  • Coming In Hot: When the power of K's police car shuts down and he crash lands on the San Diego junk yard.
  • Companion Cube: K has an emotionally confusing romance with his in-house AI, Joi. He treats her like a girlfriend while still understanding that she's programmed to love him. When she tells him that he makes her happy, he gets annoyed and says that she doesn't have to say things like that. It's ultimately unclear how legitimate her love for him is.
  • Conlang: Cityspeak - the unholy abomination of a creole language composed of Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese and Spanish that was introduced in the original movie - has a couple of brief cameos. It now also includes Korean and Finnish.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played straight. K wins handily any time he's fighting multiple opponents but has a lot more trouble when he's facing single combatants. This includes when everybody involved is using heavily armed Spinners. Of course, this is justified by the fact that the one on one fights are with other Replicants, and in his fight with Deckard, he's quite clearly holding back.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The Wallace Corp headquarters.
    • In 2049 a tiny piece of wood is worth a fortune, clear sunlight is a luxury, and almost all water is heavily contaminated. Naturally, all of the offices in the Wallace Corporation's Earth headquarters are lined with wood, lit with caustics (as if the light is being filtered through a layer of water) and natural yellow sunlight. Taken to the extreme in Wallace's personal space, which is a stretch of wood surrounded by a fish-filled pool of water.
    • In a place where space is at a premium not only does it dwarf the old vacant Tyrell Corp building to the point to where the viewer can't see the entire building in the mist but there are a lot of empty corridors and large rooms filled with mostly nothing. Including Wallace we only see a handful of characters even working inside the building, making it appear to be big merely for the sake of being big.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rick Deckard still has his iconic blaster gun.
    • Deckard had the collar of his overcoat flipped up around his neck in at least one scene in the original. K is introduced with the collar of his own overcoat covering his neck and lower face.
    • Both film prominently feature an extreme close-up of a blue eye in the opening.
    • Both films' opening chapters have a blade runner and a replicant in a confrontation, during which one of them gets smashed through a wall and put down. 2049 twists this around in that both are now replicants and it's not the blade runner who gets taken out.
    • Tyrell sported enormous owl glasses and suffered an Eye Scream, while his equivalent in this film, Wallace, is blind with scars around his eyes.
    • K undergoes a baseline test involving highly invasive, aggressive questions and a camera recording his responses, alluding heavily to the VK Test from the first movie.
    • Gaff, during his brief cameo, crafts an origami sheep, referencing both the original film and the title of the novel it was based on. Appropriately, he's still wearing his signature buttoned-up white shirt and blue bow-tie.
    • A prostitute identifies K as blade runner in Cityspeak - using Finnish words - while the latter is eating at a street vendor, much like Gaff did in the original. Gaff also uses a Cityspeak term during his cameo.
    • The advertisement for the Off-World Colonies can be heard droning on in the background in several scenes.
    • Prominent depictions of pianos at Sapper's home (where Rachael lived and died) and the casino where Deckard resides allude to scenes in the original film of Deckard and Rachael intimately playing the piano together.
    • The umbrella-wielding bicyclists make a reappearance.
    • A member of the replicant resistance describes their kind as being "more human than human", a line that was originally the motto of the now long-defunct Tyrell Corporation.
    • Like the late J.F. Sebastian, a genetic disorder prevents Ana Stelline from leaving Earth for the Colonies.
    • A replicant dies after saving Deckard's life during a rain-soaked fight scene. To drive the comparison home even further, the scene is scored to "Tears in Rain" from the original film.
    • When the audience is first introduced to Rachael in the original during the scene where she first meets Deckard, she is seen approaching him with her right hand in her pocket after answering Deckard's question about the owl being a replicant. When a resurrected copy of Rachael approaches after entering the room, she puts her right hand into the same pocket in the same way she did when she first met Deckard.
    • While using the drone from his Spinner, from the drone's POV, you can see a car in a similar design to Deckard's from the first film sitting on the abandoned freeway, looking like it got T-boned. Considering the theatrical cut of the film has Deckard and Rachael driving off in the same car, it could possibly be the same car that belonged to him.
    • K and Luv both give vocal directions to pieces of technology viewing a scene (K to his car's camera drone, Luv to the bomber drone) in a similar manner as the famous "enhance" scene from the original in which Deckard examines a photograph.
    • Luv kisses K after stabbing him, and Wallace does the same thing to a Replicant, much like Roy Batty did to Tyrell in the original movie before killing him.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: K is a stoic who keeps his emotions buried deep, can perfectly hold his own in combat and dresses blacks and grays. By contrast, Deckard was quicker to show his emotions and dressed in a variety of colors, and was not particularly skilled or tough in a fight. It is also unambiguous that K is a Replicant, whereas it is a mystery with Deckard.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Subverted. The Replicant child of Rachael and Deckard being the one to discover her remains on Sapper's farm would be this...if K was actually the child.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: K goes to an orphanage to search for records but the entire year that he's interested has been ripped out of the paper ledger.
  • Cool Guns: Several. Rick Deckard still has his old iconic LAPD two-trigger blaster, while K wields a more modernized police version and Luv gets a snub-nosed double-barrelled blaster for assassinations.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The off-world colonies are implied to be this. On the one hand, the standard of living is infinitely better than on Earth, all the rich and powerful have moved there in droves and the downtrodden masses see them as paradise. However, their prosperity is built upon the enslavement of Replicants and Wallace outright states that he will have more leeway to torture the information he needs out of Deckard once he gets him there.
  • Crapsack World: Life on Earth has gotten even worse in the 30 years since the first film. The oceans have risen and become completely toxic to the point that a giant sea wall had to be built to prevent the toxic waters from flooding Los Angeles while the climate has continued deteriorating to the point that it is snowing in southern California in July. In addition, vast sections of the city are left completely unlit, either due to the blackout or sheer degradation. Las Vegas was abandoned following a dirty bomb detonation during the chaos caused by the Black Out while San Diego has been reduced to a giant trash dump. There is no fresh food available with the populace surviving off artificial food produced by the Wallace Corporation, while the elite of society have abandoned Earth for the off-world colonies. And racial tensions between humans and Replicants are boiling to critical mass.
  • Crush the Keepsake: After having defeated K in combat, Luv stomps on and crushes the emitter of K's holographic lover Joi which equates to killing her.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Carries on this proud tradition from the original. Even counting the prequel shorts, there are a number of things that are never elaborated on, like Wallace offhandedly mentioning that humans have colonized most of the solar system, the bombing that caused Las Vegas to be evacuated, or K noting that Sapper must have been involved in the fighting on Calantha and mentioning that it must have been brutal.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno: Hans Zimmer provided some variations on the synthesizer-heavy 1982 Vangelis soundtrack, although noticeably less so than the snippets of Jóhann Jóhannsson's unused work in the movie's trailers, which directly remixed Vangelis' work.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Appropriately for the sequel to one of the Trope Codifiers, there is plenty of this throughout. The Climax in particular takes place during a huge rainstorm. What's more, climate change has increased so much that there's now heavy snowfall in Los Angeles.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Deckard didn't go looking for his and Rachael's child to avoid accidentally leading Wallace straight to her.
  • Darker and Edgier: Whilst the original was already bleak, this movie is even more so. The environment is worse, the tensions between human and replicants have increased and there is a more tragic nature to K’s character.
  • Dead Star Walking: Dave Bautista's Sapper Morton was prominently featured in trailers and even got his own web short, but dies in the first 10 minutes.
  • Death Faked for You: Twice.
    • Deckard falsified the records of his daughter's birth to say she'd died of Galatians Syndrome, so that anyone who discovered the existence of his and Rachael's child would go looking for a boy instead.
    • At the end of the movie, after rescuing Deckard from Luv and her men, Deckard tells K "You should kill me." K replies, "I did."
  • Death from Above: A missile strike from unseen aerial drones assists K at one point in his investigation.
  • Dies Wide Open: Luv. K, too, assuming he actually dies.
  • Digital Head Swap: Rachael is portrayed through motion capture by Loren Peta and voiced by a sound-alike actress. Sean Young was, however, on hand to coach Peta on how to replicate her original physical performance.
  • Drone of Dread: A recurring musical motif that is especially prevalent in the downtown LA scenes is a massive "VRUMMMM" noise, drowning out almost all other instruments for a moment before it passes.
  • Double Tap: K does this every time that he fires his gun.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Deckard lost both his lover and his child, and a lot of people died in the process, but thanks to K's efforts, he is freed from being hunted by both the replicants and Wallace and is eventually reunited with his daughter.
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Pollution and climate conditions weren't all that great in the first film. They've both been dialed up to eleven by this time frame. For example, climate change has risen sea levels so far inland that Los Angeles' coast is where Mulholland Drive currently exists in Real Life, and that's with the construction of an artificial sea wall.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way:
    • K practically begs Sapper Morton to come quietly, but the man forces him into Suicide by Cop.
    • Wallace admits that they can take Deckard offworld to be tortured, but he has more than pain to offer him. Cue a Replicant in the form of Rachael Emerging from the Shadows.
    • K wants to get answers from Deckard without hurting him and admits the older man is not making it easy for him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Most of the cast gets one.
    • While on assignment in the Action Prologue, K goes out of his way to avoid conflict and repeatedly asks that his target come quietly. When the man refuses and attacks him, K retires him with ruthless efficiency despite being much smaller and less muscular. It's also during this sequence that we learn K's a Replicant.
    • In his first scene, Niander Wallace gives an ominous monologue to Luv in a hugely opulent, shadowy office, and releases one of his own Nexus-9 Replicants. He speaks gently to her and almost tenderly wipes the "birthing fluid" from her naked body before stabbing her and letting her bleed out on the floor just to make a point to Luv.
    • Joi first appears as a disembodied voice in K's apartment, preparing him a meal and changing form to accommodate his every fantasy like a simple pleasure model AI. When he activates her emanator and tells her she can go anywhere in the world, she simply chooses to stand outside in the rain with him, giggling and letting the rain fall "on" her body with an expression of rapturous joy, before telling K that she loves him. And thus the audience gets it immediately: K loves her deeply, and she appears to love him too, even though we're constantly aware that she's just a "product."
    • Luv gets a subtle one. She chitchats to K and flirts with him in typical Sexy Secretary fashion, until a massive vault door jams on them. Luv immediately shoves it open on her own.
    • Deckard first appears to K out of the shadows while quoting Treasure Island to him at gunpoint. After hunting the younger man down through his apartment and getting in a rather brutal fistfight, Deckard somewhat sheepishly tells him they could keep fighting or go get drinks to talk things over, establishing that this is an older, wiser, but no less determined Deckard than we saw in the first movie.
  • Evil Gloating: Luv does this before murdering Joshi, mocking her efforts at concealing the existence of the replicant child.
    "You tiny thing. You can't hold back the ocean with a broom."
    • She does this again, in an even more sadistic manner, before murdering Joi.
    "I hope you're satisfied with our product."
  • Eye Open: The opening scene shows a close-up on K's right eye opening.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Hinted at with Wallace's condition, as his eye lids are heavily scarred.
    • Sapper Morton's right eye is gouged out post-mortem so that he can be identified by the serial number engraved on it.
    • Freysa, the leader of the Replicant rebellion, is also missing her right eye, which she hides behind sunglasses.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Par for the course for this franchise.
    • Despite initially fighting back, Sapper Morton lets K/Joe kill him for the sake of his cause.
    • Lieutenant Joshi is attacked in her office by Luv, who crushes a glass in her hand and forces it into a fist. Despite this, Joshi barely flinches, and when Luv announces her intention to kill her, she calmly tell her to do what she has to do.
    • Joi doesn't even flinch upon realizing that Luv is about to destroy her, and spends her last moments telling K she loves him before her deactivation.
    • Despite sustaining multiple, fatal stab wounds, K/Joe musters up enough strength to fly Deckard to Dr. Stelline's lab to reunite him with his long-lost daughter. Alone at the steps of the lab, he lies down in the snow to seemingly die, in a call-back to Roy Batty's death from the original film.
  • Facial Dialogue: K doesn't verbally react when the giant hologram of Joi addresses him with the pet name that his now-deceased copy of her used, but the look on his face says pages about his decision to go rescue Deckard.
  • Fake Memories: Like in the original, Replicants have false memories implanted of a life before they were activated. Between movies it was made illegal to use real memories for this purpose which is why K is shocked to find one of his memories is real.
  • Fan Disservice: The naked female Replicant that Wallace activates and brings out of her bag. The entire time, the Replicant is covered in a slimy substance and is trying to get used to her surroundings and body like a newborn child. After musing about her inability to reproduce, Wallace promptly stabs her in the lower abdomen, letting her bleed to death.
    • Also the giant naked Joi hologram that appears and speaks to K. Its all-black eyes and echoing voice are off-putting.
  • Fantastic Noir: Follows many Film Noir conventions in a Cyberpunk setting.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Even more so than the original Blade Runner. Replicants were outright banned for ten years between 2026 and 2036, with the remaining longer-lived Replicants forcibly "retired" en masse. The Wallace Corporation has brought them back with the Nexus-9 line, who are built to be even more subservient and slave-like than the Replicants in the original film.
    • K is shoulder-checked and called a skin-job by co-workers. The people he shares a tenement with treat him with disgust and the door of his apartment has been vandalized, calling him a "skinner". Even the Replicants hate him for being a next gen Blade Runner.
    • All of the LAPD's Replicant employees are apparently required to take a highly invasive baseline test that torments them with rapid-fire, pre-conditioned emotionally loaded trigger questions. If what Joshi says is literally true, then deviation from the baseline is instantly punishable by death.
    • The Replicants themselves express some of this towards Joi, as Mariette tells her (paraphrased) "she's not as real as she thinks she is".
    • Happens even amongst Replicants. K makes a distinction between "his kind" (obedient) and the defiant older models like Sapper.
  • Fiery Coverup: Officer K burns Sapper Morton's house to Destroy the Evidence of a human-replicant birth, under Joshi's orders.
  • Finagle's Law: Joi tells K to delete her from his apartment so he will be harder to track down, leaving the portable emitter only for Joi to exist. If the emitter is damaged, she will disappear. Sure enough, Luv crushes the portable emitter later on, killing Joi in the process.
  • The Final Temptation: Niander Wallace decides to convince Deckard to tell him the location of the replicant child by tempting him with an almost perfect replica of Rachael, as she was when they first met. Deckard ultimately refuses, causing an enraged Wallace to kill the Rachael clone and order Deckard to be transported offworld to be tortured.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Compare K's implanted memory of himself as a child hiding the toy wooden horse in the furnace with his Redemption in the Rain fight against Luv in the climax to save Deckard's life at the cost of his own.
  • Flying Car: The signature spinners return with greater presence and grittier 2040s tech. K is assigned an LAPD spinner that serves as his primary mode of transport, and now comes standard with an unmanned weaponized probe as are some of the Wallace Corporation spinners. A classic LAPD spinner closely modeled after the design of the original movienote  also makes a brief cameo as Deckard's getaway vehicle in Las Vegas before it is preemptively destroyed in a missile strike by Luv's men.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Sapper Morton tries and fails to stab K in the film's opening, but K grabs his hand before he can do so. In the film's climax, the same thing happens with Luv and K, but she pulls a second knife on him in other hand and stabs him, giving a wound that contributes to his eventual death.
    • K is slammed repeatedly into and then through a concrete wall to seemingly no ill effect before he is identified as a Replicant.
    • K's baseline test includes the phrases "What's it like to hold the hand of someone you love?" and "What's it like to hold your child in your arms?", alluding to the birth of a Replicant child and K's quest for love and self-actualization with Joi.
    • Another phrase of the baseline is "When you're not performing your duties, do they keep you in a little box?" which fairly accurately describes the duty and confinement of Ana Stelline, who like K, is also at lest partially, if not entirely Replicant (depending on what Deckard really is.)
    • Luv muscles open a stuck, heavy door before she is in any scene that requires her to be combative.
    • When K goes to the orphanage, only the girls have any hair, all the boys have shaved heads. This is an early hint that the person in K's memory is a girl, not a boy.
    • Ana Stillane is shown crying when she examines K's implanted memory, and confirms that it's real but doesn't ask whose it is. That's because it's not his memory- it's hers.
    • Ana tells K that "there's a bit of every artist in her work." The memory that she put into K was her own.
    • After leaving the memory creation facility, K tells Joshi "I found the kid". He's right that he found the child, but it isn't him. It's Ana.
    • Luv tells Joshi before killing her, "You can't hold back the tide with a broom." Luv dies when K drowns her in the oncoming ocean tide
    • After K deletes Joi from his apartment's database, he warns her that she'll die for good if her mobile emitter is destroyed. Sure enough, when in the attack on Deckard's building, Luv finds Joi and exactly that happens.
    • Attentive viewers will notice that Rick Deckard never refers to the gender of his child.
    • When K first arrives home, Joi layers the image of a more appetizing meal over his bowl of noodles. Later, she does something similar with Marriette and herself.
    • Wallace calls Luv "the best angel of all." The last thing she sees is K with (the lights of the crashed spinner making) a halo around his head.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Adam Savage has a blink-and-you'll miss it cameo in Nowhere to Run in the scene where Sapper is haggling with a merchant. He's visible over Sapper's left shoulder as the guy trying to sell bags full of human blood.
    • Officer K's serial number, identifying him as a Replicant, is visible on his car's display before The Reveal.
    • It's obscured by crashing waves, but there is a quick frame showing both Luv and K doubling back after shooting each other.
    • The light on Joi's emanator glows whenever he's talking to other women throughout the film, indicating that she's listening in on their conversations - and only when he's talking to other women. Jealous, much?
  • Freud Was Right: Wallace's complete lack of interest in understanding how Deckard is capable of reproduction, despite outright stating he suspects Deckard might be a replicant, and statement that he is the father of the millions of current replicants, brings up disturbing implications of who he plans the biological father of the next generation replicants to be if he can make female ones who can reproduce.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Humanity lives off of genetically engineered artificial food made in imitation of old dishes produced by the Wallace Corporation, since regular food is all but depleted at this point. One protein source is vat-grown grubs.
  • The Future Is Noir: Like the first film, the future in which the film is set doesn't have very good lighting.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Eldon Tyrell's gigantic pyramid-shaped (or rather ziggurat-shaped) complex in Los Angeles remains standing as part of Niander Wallace's Earth headquarters, but is now shrouded in darkness...and is spectacularly dwarfed by newer and even more imposing wedge-shaped mega-extensions.
  • Gaia's Lament: The toxic pollution and environmental fallout has gotten drastically worse in 30 years. According to Denis Villeneuve, "The climate has gone berserk — the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic." To go into further detail:
    • Los Angeles has gigantic walls all along the coastline designed to hold off tidal waves.
    • The city only seems to have three types of weather: constant rain, constant smog, and constant ash-snow.
    • LA's smog isn't just bad, it's intensely bad. It was implied that the smog is so bad only a few police spinners are allowed to fly.
    • Las Vegas is a ghost country coated in a constant orange haze, but the background radiation has since returned to non-lethal levels.
    • San Diego is now used exclusively as Los Angeles' dumping grounds. It's only a matter of when you'll get Tetanus from all the rust, not if.
    • Trees are so rare that a toy horse the size of your hand carved out of real wood is considered a sign of wealth.
    • The snow is a twofer: Not only is it snowing in Southern California, the film is explicitly set in the summer.
    • There’s also a hint that the water is so polluted, there’s some difficulty in completely decontaminating it, as K’s shower announces it uses “99.9% Detoxified Water” every time it’s turned on.
    • K's shower lasts exactly one second, implying that even this “99.9% Detoxified Water” is also extremely scarce and expensive to use.
    • There are literally no real, living plants seen anywhere. Farms are giant fields of plastic white greenhouses instead of natural green fields, and they farm artificial protein instead of food.
  • Ghost Town: Las Vegas is now this, coated in a constant orange haze. It's implied to have been some form of dirty bomb, because the background radiation is only just now dropping back down to non-lethal levels, and the city itself is completely undamaged.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Invoked by Luv who squeezes Joshi's hand so the glass therein would break and hurt her.
  • Glory Days: Deckard tells K he had the same job as him once and that he was good at it.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Luv rather easily dismantles K in a kickboxing and knife-fight. Then K comes back and simply asphyxiates her with raw strength.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • In the "Nexus Dawn" short, the camera cuts to the horrified reactions of the Magistrates right as Wallace's Replicant cuts his own throat.
    • K's execution of Sapper Morton only shows K firing two shots at him and then the sound of Sapper falling to the floor offscreen.
    • Wallace mutilating that poor replicant woman is shot from behind her back and cuts to a shot of the blood spilling down her legs.
    • Luv stabbing Joshi is shot from a distance and through a window, so we don't get to see most of the gory details.
    • Played with in an interesting way: There's no actual blood during Joi's death, obviously, but it shows only K's expression as Luv smashes Joi's emitter.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: Played with. The previous film was made before the USSR collapsed, and thus played this trope straight by showing a USSR still existing in the future. 2049, however, creates an Alternate History Retro Universe that assumes the assumptions made in the first film were true and keeps the USSR around on purpose.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Nexus 9 series is supposed to be completely obedient and utterly subservient to the humans. However, as the movie progresses it becomes clear that many of them are in fact starting to think for themselves and forming a Resistance.
  • Gunship Rescue: K's rescue of Deckard in the climax. A variation in that the people he's attacking also are in gunships.
  • Happy Ending Override: At the end of the first movie, Deckard and Rachael retired to a peaceful life in the countryside.note  In this movie, Rachael is dead, and Deckard is living in the ruins of an old city.
  • The Hero Dies: K ends the film laying down on snow covered steps still heavily bleeding from earlier injuries. The film ends as the camera pans out with him lying motionless on the stairs, looking up into the sky.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: Subverted. When he discovers that Rachael and Deckard had produced a child together, K's analysis of birth records leads him to believe that he's the child in question. He's wrong - it's actually the memory scientist, Ana Stelline.
  • Holograms: 2010s special effects allow for the film to feature holograms prominently in urban environments.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection:
    • Joi shows some glitches early on before K makes her non-stationary.
    • The jukebox hologram of Frank Sinatra at the Las Vegas casino goes through flickers.
    • There is also the malfunctioning hologram of the late Elvis Presley going in and out playing a song.
  • Homage:
    • Combining K's name with his nickname gives you Joe K, a nod to Josef K from Franz Kafka's The Trial.
    • Another literary reference can be found in the baseline tests that are administered to K: The words "cells interlinked within cells" are lifted from Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire. K even has a copy of the book in his apartment.
    • The shots of K walking away from Sapper's burning house mirror a similar scene in Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice.
    • K spends part of the third act with a large bandage over his nose, recalling Jake Gittes from the Neo Noir film Chinatown.
    • The story's general premise seems to be partly inspired by A Scanner Darkly, another Philip K. Dick tale about a detective in the future sent to find a fugitive criminal who turns out to be himself. At least until it's revealed that Ana Stelline is Deckard and Rachael's child, not K.
    • The final battle seems to homage Drive, which also features Ryan Gosling's character attacking a car the film's antagonist is driving in, running it into the sea, and then killing the villain by ultimately drowning them when they climb out (though Luv puts up much more of a fight than Nino did).
  • Hotter and Sexier: While the original was by no means a chaste film, actual nudity was confined to a brief scene of Zhora's breasts while changing. This film has multiple scenes of naked Replicants - albeit in a distinctly unerotic context - and plentiful female nudity, including two scenes of skyscraper-sized note  naked women.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: A non-lethal variant. Joi asks K to delete her copy from the apartment console since she cannot do it herself.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Justified since K is a Replicant, but over the course of the film (roughly a week) he's beaten heavily by Sapper, stabbed in the arm by Sapper, blown away by an explosion, hit multiple times in the face by Deckard, grazed on the side of the head by a bullet before falling three stories, knocked back by another explosion that leaves shrapnel in his side, beaten by Luv, shot and stabbed in the side by Luv before getting kicked more, having his hand sliced open. And even then it still takes a few more hours before he potentially succumbs to his wounds.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Deep down, K wanted to be the Replicant child, a real person born of a woman. As the resistance leader explains to K, every Replicant with Stelline's memories wishes it were them. This is why Joi was so insistent to K that it was the case; she is programmed to say "What you want to hear" as the advertisements say, and she could tell that K really wanted it to be true despite his outward protestations to the contrary.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • As per being a Replicant, K manages to kill all of his targets with one shot except for Luv due to the intense rain.
    • Bringing down a speeding Flying Car with a jury-rigged harpoon in one shot? Respect.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. K's hands are noticeably bruised after his fight with Sapper.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "I hope you are satisfied with our product." Doubles as a Pre-Mortem One Liner.
    • Luv herself is on the receiving end of this, albeit in a subtler way. She tells Joshi that she can't "hold back the ocean with a broom", and at the end of the movie she's drowned in the ocean by K.
    • To the first movie. Roy Batty attacked Deckard after he killed the female replicant Pris, but then saved Deckard's life before expiring under a pouring rain. K kills the female replicant Luv to save Deckard's life, and later expires under a gentle snowfall. Both death scenes have the "Tears in Rain" score as accompaniment.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The moment Luv steps on Joi's emitter, K has a personal stake with her, particularly since by that point, K has no personal interest on rebelling against Wallace.
  • I Was Never Here: In an attempt to uphold the order Lieutenant Joshi tells K that the pregnant baby "didn't happened".
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: K employs it successfully on the Evil Orphanage Owner to get him to disclose the register from 30 years back.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Niander Wallace graphically slices a Replicant's belly open and lets her bleed to death just to prove a point to Luv, and just because he can.
    • Unlike every other person she kills, Luv didn't have to smash Joi's emitter. She seemingly does it just to be cruel.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Luv crushes Joi's emitter just before she can finish telling K one last "I love you".
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: K and holographic Joi have at least two kissing scenes.
  • La Résistance: A Replicant rebellion is on the rise.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The birthday and Arc Number on the wooden horse is 06-10-21. Read it in American order, and the date becomes October 6th, the day the movie is released and the metaphorical "birth day" of K.
  • Leitmotif: The first notes of Peter's leitmotif from Peter and the Wolf play when Joi is activated.
  • Living Macguffin: Several factions are searching for the living child of a replicant, due to the implications of their existence.
  • Logo Joke: The Warner Bros. Pictures, Alcon Entertainment, Sony, and Columbia Pictures logo are monochrome and digitized, glitching between their usual backgrounds and a blank space with a blinding light shining behind them.
  • Love Triangle: Of a sort: Mariette the prostitute/replicant resistant agent clearly shows attraction to K when she first meets him, and shows significant concern for him after he is found almost dead in Las Vegas. Joi speaks callously towards her, possibly envious of the fact that she can physically touch K and dismisses her after their cybersex threesome rudely. K for his part is very smitten with Joi, and is initially very uncomfortable with having sex with Mariette, only proceeding at Joi's insistence. He later shows significant grief after Joi's death, though still affectionately touches Mariette after his rescue in Las Vegas. It gets more complex when you factor in Luv's Villainous Crush toward K.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: K and Luv are both Nexus-9 Replicants but differ in their fighting styles. K is heavier and primarily uses grappling, punching, or crushing blows, while Luv is more skilled and fights with acrobatic kicks and flashier kung-fu style moves (as well as her knives.) This is highlighted in the final battle, where Luv beats the shit out of him and stabs him several times but he eventually wins by holding her underwater, and his superior physical strength and weight means she's unable to escape and eventually drowns.
  • Match Cut: A couple times, most notably with the opening shot of K's blue eye cutting to an overhead view of solar panels arranged in a circular eye-shaped pattern that resembles an iris.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Rachael's name becomes a fascinating retroactive example. In the Bible, Rachael was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In this movie, she gave birth to a living child, the first born of a Replicant-Human relationship, who the Replicant resistance believes will be the progenitor of a new tribe of humanlike Replicants.
    • Joi is the only person who gives K joy.
    • Luv wants to be the most beloved of Wallace's creations.
    • K finds out his name is Joe. As in Joseph K.
  • Mega City: The LA in 2049 is just as an big of example of a cyberpunk megacity as the original film, if not even more extreme. When K flies back from Sapper Morton's farm to LAPD, we see miles upon miles of tightly-packed city blocks (to the point where roads are no longer visible), surrounding a downtown of humongous skyscraper blocks.
  • Mega Corp.: The Wallace Corporation, which bought out the now-bankrupt Tyrell Corporation from the previous film, produces virtually all of Earth's artificial food supply, the new Nexus-9 line of Replicants, and even the Joi A.I. companion.
  • Meta Twist: In stories featuring an adult protagonist with a mysterious past, and a plot about past events involving the birth of a chosen one and/or a long lost child, the protagonist is usually the child grown up. While K came to believe he is the lost child of Deckard and Rachael, it's eventually proved he isn't.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • K asks Deckard if his dog is real or not. Deckard doesn't know, much like in the first movie about Tyrell's owl, Zhora's snake or himself.
    • Rachael's death after the original movie and replicants procreating had previously been used in the K.W. Jeter follow-up novels The Edge of Human and Replicant Night, respectively. K being a Replicant hunting down other Replicants is also from the books.
    • The opening to the movie is reused from the scrapped original opening for the first film.
    • On their first encounter Deckard recites to K lines from Treasure Island, a book that Dave Holden was reading when Deckard was visiting him at a hospital in a deleted scene of the original film.
    • Ridley Scott always said that a sequel to Blade Runner 2 would open on a dead tree, strung up with tons of electronics. This film does that, but with less electronics.
  • Noodle Incident: In the film itself, many characters refer to the "Black Out" as a cataclysmic event that wiped out most data on the remaining Tyrell replicants. However, in order to find find out what the Black Out actually was, you would have to watch Blade Runner Black Out 2022.
    • Even the prequel shorts give basically no information whatsoever on whatever happened to Las Vegas that caused it to be evacuated. It's implied to be some sort of dirty bomb, but the exact level of toxicity is left ambiguous, given that the only life we see there are Deckard's bees and dog, K and Luv (who are both Replicants) and Deckard and Wallace's henchmen (who might be.)
  • No-Sell: When Deckard punches K's face inside the abandoned casino, K takes it without much problem.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mr. Cotton, the overseer at the orphanage, panics when he sees K's badge.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: 75-year old Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard vs. 46-year old Jared Leto as Niander Wallace. Averted with K, as both Ryan Gosling and K are younger than Leto/Wallace, and in any case K and Wallace never meet.
  • Opening Scroll: Before the film starts proper there is an opening screen of text explaining the term "Replicant" and providing background information as a courtesy to viewers who didn't see the short films in the lead up to 2049, as well as serving as a Call-Back to the opening text from the original film.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: There are many scenes with a harsh yellow and orange hue, including Las Vegas, the Wallace Corporation headquarters, and Dr. Badger's lab. Other scenes, such as various night scenes around the city, have a softer grey and blue hue. Both hues can be seen in the Final Battle as well as quite blatantly in the theatrical poster.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Niander Wallace spends all of his time lounging in his headquarters, a huge, cavernous, mazelike building.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Deckard's only companion in the deserted ruins of Las Vegas is a dog he found living there. Neither he nor K can tell if it's artificial.
  • Product Placement:
    • As with the original film, large advertisements dominate certain areas of the city, including both modern brands such as Coca-Cola and defunct brands like Pan-Am, showing that the film takes place in a Retro Universe. Amusingly, one of the brands is Atari, which became defunct for a while but was resurrected by other companies.
    • More traditional product placement also occurs in the film, such as for Peugeot (the brand of car K drives) and the film's international distributor Sony (on the holographic jukebox).
    • Holographic versions of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley turn up in Vegas. Who owns their back catalogs? Sony.
  • Pronoun Trouble:
    • When Freysa talks about the replicant child, she refers to her as "baby" and "child" and avoids "she" and "daughter" until the right moment comes for the Wham Line.
    • When K asks Rick Deckard about his child, K only uses the gender-neutral terms "child" or "kid", and Deckard never corrects him.
  • Red Herring: K discovered that his childhood memories aren't actually fake, but real, thus learning that he might be a Replicant-born child, specifically Rachael's child. It turns out that he's actually not, it's Dr. Ana Stelline. The memories are indeed real, but they're Ana's, not K's.
  • Red Herring Mole: The prostitute, Mariette, is seen following K around throughout the film in a suspicious manner and even rifling through his luggage. She's not a Femme Fatale spy working for the bad guys, she's working for the Replicant resistance movement and her tracking device saves K's life when Luv's men capture Deckard and leave K for dead.
  • Retro Universe: Rather than retconning the aesthetics of the Blade Runner universe for a more modern sci-fi look, the film doubles down on the clunky technology, outdated brands, a still-active USSR, and general retro-futuristic '80s visuals of the original.
  • Revealing Hug: When Mariette/Joi and K kiss, Joi and K keep their eyes closed, while Mariette (who is spying on K) opens her eyes and peers curiously at K.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: After leaving Ana Stelline's facility, K tells Joshi "I found the kid." He's right that he found the kid, but it's actually Ana who's the child and not him.
  • Robosexual: A weird variation where both partners are artificial: K's only non-professional relationship is with Joi, a mass-produced A.I. romantic partner. It's suggested that he feels affection for her specifically because he doesn't feel like an actual person either, and they both share a connection via their desire to be "real". Of course, Joi is programmed to love her owners no matter what, a fact that K is forced to come to terms with after his copy of her is destroyed. He sees a giant holographic advertisement for Joi that approaches him the same way that a prostitute would, even calling him the pet name "Joe" like his own copy did.
  • Romantic Rain: When K buys Joi an emanator and asks her where she wants to go, she chooses to go outside so she can "feel" the rain on her skin, before embracing K tightly.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The birth records contain entries for a girl and a boy with identical genomes, and the girl was said to have died of "Galatians syndrome". Galatians is the book of the New Testament where St. Paul says Jewish law doesn't apply to Gentiles who convert to Christianity. The records were falsified by the Replicant resistance, who want to prove that laws restricting Replicants don't apply to a child born of a Replicant.
    • When Dr. Ana Stelline is introduced, she is in her own forest world (it is probably the only time in the movie green fills such a large part of the screen, making it feel jarring and unexpected), focusing on morphing a beetle (considered by some to be a reference to The Metamorphosis by Kafka and heavily dissected by Nabokov, two recurring literary author references found in the script). The real people outside cannot see anymore forests because all the forests died, yet she can still create an artificial forest in her enclosure. At the ending, when the real world outside snows, Stelline is creating her own snow inside her enclosure. As K, an artificially created human experiences the real snow, Stelline, a human born of an artificial replicant, experiences the real things through her own artificial creations.
    • K finds a colony of living bees in a nuclear wasteland on an even more wasted earth where all the flowers died. The director stated that bees symbolize hope in a dying world, living on. They also have many parallels to replicants, given that they live in individual cells and an entire colony is born from one mother like all replicants having a single source.
    • When Gaff presents the sheep origami to K, Gaff is playing a game of Nine Men's Morris. During the scene, Gaff wears white and K wears black, representing the two sides, and white is losing, and it mirrors the games of chess in the original Blade Runner.
    • A lone dead tree on Sapper Morton's farm held up by wires represents both life and death. Trees are very rare in 2049, and this lone dead tree is a beacon of the remnants of life in the dystopic world. It is where the dead pregnant replicant was buried, and where K begins his investigations that would eventually lead him onto a road of self-discovery.
    • The inexplicable and gigantic erotic statues of naked women in Las Vegas symbolize hedonism to the extreme. Their current desolation in a wasteland mirrors how human excess had drowned itself with waste.
    • Deckard keeps a dog that he doesn't know if is real or not. Considering that the pollution has gotten so bad it apparently wiped out most non-human animals as well, including dogs, Deckard's dog symbolizes the Ambiguously Human nature of the replicants and their status in a world where humanity has declined.
  • Scavenger World: San Diego is now a vast garbage dump whose entire economy is based on salvaging material. Its inhabitants have no problem with shooting spinners from the sky for this either.
  • Scenery Porn: With both Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins behind the lens, it's a given. Deakins finally won his Oscar for cinematography after thirteen previous nominations.
  • Screw Destiny: Weirdly inverted. K chooses to fulfill his "destiny" and save Rick Deckard from Wallace's forces even though he's not Deckard's child when he decides that he wants to make a choice of his own free will.
  • Secretly Dying: K hides his lethal stab wound from Deckard.
  • Sequel Hook: There is an incoming Replicant rebellion, and Big Bad Niander Wallace is still alive by the end of the film.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Deckard meets K, he quotes Treasure Island. K acknowledges the reference, which impresses Deckard.
    • K wears a bandage over his nose in the third act after a brutal beating, not unlike Jake Gittes in Chinatown.
    • The overall plot itself Replicants being able to conceive and have children is itself a bit of a shoutout to Armitage III which is also a cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk story that involves Humanoid machines being able to conceive and have children. Even the major viewpoints and character motivations are referenced in detail With the creator of Armitage and the Third-series androids doing so in order to boost the population of Mars, a colony world that lacked the ability to flourish due to population; nearly the exact statement made by Niander Wallace. Lieutenant Joshi's desire to eliminate the issue to stop a war is in the story as well.
    • When Joi flashes through her outfits and asks K to dance with her, she briefly wears a sparkly silver dress and blonde bob wig that makes her look like Roxie Hart.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Done very effectively throughout. See Establishing Character Moment and Conspicuous Consumption for more examples.
  • Sinister Switchblade: Luv has one which she uses to stab K repeatedly and gut Joshi.
  • Snow Means Death:
    • When Luv kills Lieutenant Joshi, the view cuts to outside the window, where snow is falling on the pane.
    • In the final scene, K lies back in the falling snow and probably succumbs to his injuries, though this is never made clear.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Luv gets suddenly loud when confronting Joshi in her office.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Rachael died in childbirth after the events of the first film.
  • Swiss Cheese Security:
    • Luv goes into the LAPD precinct with no legal access, steals crucial evidence, kills a coroner and proceeds out with no trouble. Next time she goes straight to Lieutenant Joshi's office, kills her and goes out, again with no trouble.
    • K still has full access to his police car with surveillance drone and machine gun after being suspended and giving up his badge and gun.
  • Take That!: To all the fans who won't stop asking whether or not Deckard is a replicant himself, there's the moment of K asking Deckard if the dog is a replicant. Deckard basically tells K to figure it out himself.
  • "Take That!" Kiss:
    • Luv plants one on K after stabbing him.
    • Wallace also kisses that poor Replicant woman before slicing her gut open.
  • Take Up My Sword: A subtle variation, but when K ambushes Wallace's convoy to rescue Deckard , he uses Deckard's old LAPD two-trigger blaster rather than his own more modern version.
  • There Was a Door: Justified example — the door in question had just been locked from the other side, so Officer K simply charges through the marble wall besides it like it is made of cardboard. Although, judging by how quickly the latter follows on the former, it seems he doesn't even try the door before going for the most direct approach.
  • Three-Way Sex: K's AI girlfriend Joi syncs her hologram's movements with Mariette, a local prostitute, so she and K can have sex.
  • Time Skip: The film is set in 2049, 30 years after the first, which was set in 2019.
  • Title by Number: 2049 is the setting of this film; its predecessor took place in 2019.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: While it happens too quickly to properly notice in the main trailer, one of the featurettes clearly showed that it is K who charges through the marble wall in pursuit of Deckard, thereby spoiling the reveal that he is a Replicant. Downplayed in that this particular reveal happens in the first few minutes of the movie, but the rest of the marketing campaign did a reasonably good job to hide it, which is why it sticks out.
    • Deckard's first meeting with K was plastered all over the trailers and marketing materials, spoiling the suspense and the mystery of whether or not K will actually find him.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: K saves Deckard from drowning in Luv's spinner.
  • Trespassing to Talk: K enters Sapper Morton's dwelling and sits down in the kitchen waiting for Sapper to return.
  • The Un-Reveal: The film has only one direct reference to the original film's mystery of whether Deckard is human or a Replicant, and it doesn't answer this question either way.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Stelline, by using her own memories as a basis for replicant memories. In doing so, she perhaps has directly caused the resistant movement to be born due to millions of replicants wanting to be 'real'.
  • Villainous Crush: Hinted at, with Luv toward K. She compliments him and tries to question him on personal matters (right after K said that's a way to tell someone likes another person). Later she plants a "Take That!" Kiss on him. That also gives her destroying Joi's emitter a Murder the Hypotenuse vibe.
  • Villainous Rescue: Luv saves K from a band of hostile scavengers who downed his car and about to kill him by directing drone missile strikes to wipe them out or chase them away.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Tie-in materials indicate that Niander Wallace saved the country from a complete collapse via starvation, due to inventing genetically-modified food products to replace the crops that were being destroyed by climate change, and then making the patents for the food available to everyone, free of charge. By the time 2049 begins, much of the populace relies on Wallace's food products, which are sold from vending machines with his name on them.
  • Walking Spoiler: K's status as a Replicant wasn't revealed in any of the marketing, but is explicitly said early on in the film. K (also known as "KD6-3.7", his full name) is a current-gen Replicant who hunts older models that don't have a finite lifespan. An even bigger case is Rachael, who was hidden from all promotion and is instrumental to the plot, starting from the fact she died between movies.
  • We Have Reserves: Wallace's attitude towards his replicants, to the point where he casually murders one immediately after being born just to prove a point to Luv. It's also implied that replicants are employed as expendable shock troops in offworld wars.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: As in the previous installment, the Opening Scroll reveals that Replicants are used as slaves in off-world colonies.
  • World of Symbolism: Much like the original, this film is stacked top-to-bottom with repeated motifs, symbols, images, and literary allusions.
  • Wham Line:
    • When K meets a replicant woman who helped birth the replicant child, she remarks on the child being a daughter, when K and the audience had both been led to believe that K was the child.
    • A lesser example is the giant pink hologram Joi telling K "You look like a good Joe," the same pet name his copy gave to him, which throws the nature of her feelings for him and whether she was truly unique severely into question.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Even though it's heavily implied K died of injuries, the film deliberately cuts away from after he lies down on the stairs, leaving his ultimate fate ambiguous.
    • Niander Wallace, the film's unambiguous Big Bad disappears from the movie right before the climax.
    • The underground replicant resistance movement is never seen again after its introduction.
    • Deckard's dog, who was still alive when the Resistance members found K, is nowhere to be seen after that. With Deckard free at the end, he can presumably fetch him if he wanted to.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • The transhumanist themes of the original are taken to even further extremes in the sequel. K's emotional arc is heavily tied to his growing belief that he is more "real" than he originally thought when he discovers that some of his memories were real and not fabricated like those of other Replicants. These hopes are dashed when he discovers that his memory of the horse toy, while genuine, was transplanted into him from the actual child of Deckard and Rachael. From that point on, he attempts to create a new purpose for himself in reuniting Deckard with his daughter.
    • Likewise, it's not obvious how much of Joi's affection towards K is a genuine interpersonal connection and how much of it is simply her programming obliging her to love her owner, although the latter is implied more heavily by the end. The voiceover during that scene makes it more ambiguous, however.
  • When She Smiles: K doesn't smile at all until the very end of the film, when he reunites Deckard with his daughter and lays down on the stairs, dying from the mortal wound Luv gave him.
  • White Void Room:
    • The holographic chamber where Ana Stelline creates memories for the replicants has this sort of aesthetic.
    • The scan room at LAPD HQ is a downplayed example. While far from looking like an actual void, the claustrophobic walls give off a harsh, sterile white glare, in contrast to the muted grey tones more common throughout the city.
  • Window Love: The final shot of the film, as Rick Deckard approaches his daughter, Ana Stelline, in her enclosure, and tenderly lays a hand on the window. Cut to black.
  • Worst Aid: Early in the movie, K treats a deep stab wound in his arm by gluing it shut. While gluing is an established medical practice in Real Life, the stuff he uses looks like some bog-standard DIY store-type superglue that shouldn't even come into contact with skin, let alone an open wound. Considering the world he lives in, it fits the tone perfectly.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: No, K. You were not Hired to Hunt Yourself, you were just one of many Replicants who each believed that they were the Chosen One.
  • Zeerust Canon: The look of the film is still close to the clunky '80s cyberpunk aesthetic from the first.

"I always told you. You're special. Your story isn't over yet. There's still a page left."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/BladeRunner2049