Black Out 2022, is an anime short directed by Shinichiro Watanabe that follows two Replicants, Iggy and Trixie, as well as a human, Ren, as they team up to cause a blackout to fight against anti-Replicant violence.
2036: Nexus Dawn, directed by Luke Scott Note introduces Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) as he presents a new Nexus-9 replicant to a group of lawmakers (Benedict Wong, Ned Dennehy, Ania Marson, Ade Sapara) in an attempt to have a prohibition on replicants lifted.
Tropes shared by the three shorts:
- All There in the Manual: The shorts help establishing key events that take place between the original film and 2049:
- Black Out 2022 is an anime that explains how and why things are the way they turned out in 2049 — 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.
- 2036: Nexus Dawn: Takes 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 osubservient Nexus-9 model.
- 2048: Nowhere to Run: Set shortly before 2049 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.
- Expanded Universe: These shorts expand the Blade Runner universe. Black Out 2022 explains the post-apocalyptic state of 2049's world and the two others introduce key characters of 2049.
- Interquel: These shorts are all set between the first film and 2049.
Tropes specific to each short:
- The Cameo: Gaff appears in the short, voiced by his actor from the films, Edward James Olmos.
- Damsel in Distress: Subverted. Trixie is seemingly a helpless female Replicant who needs to be rescued from a group of humans by Iggy. The next scene shows that she is anything but a damsel, hanging out of a Spinner vehicle one-handed, dropping onto a moving tanker and effortlessly disabling the driver by throwing him out with her thighs.
- Evil vs. Evil: The short is essentially about three terrorists wanting to "even the odds" for Replicants against the xenophobic human race that enslaved and brutalized them. The EMP from the nuclear missile they launched wiped out all data stored on magnetic drives, shut off all the power in Las Vegas, and possibly killed hundreds.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sapper Morton's biographical information can be glimpsed on a computer readout near the very beginning. This also gives some more information about him — namely, that he's a combat-medic and agricultural-oriented Replicant from the Nexus-8 line.
- From Bad to Worse: The short shows two Replicants (along with a human sympathizer) detonating a nuclear bomb in the upper atmosphere above the U.S. continental West Coast, causing an EMP that shuts off all the power in LA and results in mass casualties. Things don't get much better in the years afterwards, with the world nearly falling into starvation before Wallace creates genetically-modified food products to keep the populace fed. By the time 2049 begins, climate change is so rampant that the world's ecosystem is nearly destroyed, ocean levels rising significantly and incidents of heavy snow in Los Angeles.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Once the EMP is detonated, everyone in Los Angeles gets this reaction when they see what's happening (Spinners losing power and falling out of the air helplessly, the advertisement blimps smashing into the electronic billboards, a Spinner careening right into a busy downtown area).
- One Woman Army: Trixie can mow down an entire group of soldiers with her combat moves.
- She-Fu: Like Pris before her, Trixie is an impressive physical combatant, and effortlessly dismantles most of the team that tries to stop her and Iggy at the backup site by herself. Also like Pris, she gets killed by a well-timed bullet as she's flying through the air.
- Shout-Out: Trixie shares visual and physical similarities with several of the Replicants from the original film. Her main combat style (acrobatic, and using her thighs to incapacitate someone before launching them into the air) is reminiscent of Pris. Towards the end of the short, she glimpses a dove flying through the air outside the backup site, a clear reference to Roy Batty. When she dies, she smashes into a sheet of glass, just like Zhora.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Animatrix. Short tie-in Anime film expanding the universe of an American dystopian science fiction franchise involving a Fantastic Racism-based conflict between humans and rogue AIs. Both benefited from the artistic contribution of Shinichiro Watanabe.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Let's just say Niander Wallace's ways of convincing the government committee to legalize the production of Replicants again are unethical.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Deliberately and gruesomely subverted. Wallace demonstrates that the Nexus-9 are completely subservient compared to the previous models by ordering this Replicant (who follows his orders implicitly) to make a choice — kill Wallace or kill himself. The Replicant grabs a shard of glass, and when Wallace tells him to make a choice ("Do this now."), slashes his own throat without hesitation.
- Undying Loyalty: Nexus-9 Replicants were conceived by Wallace to be totally subservient, making them less prone to emotions and rebellion than the previous lines.
- The Cameo: Adam Savage was an extra (the man behind Sapper at the merchant's shop).
- Gentle Giant: Sapper Morton in a nutshell. A tall and bulky Replicant who goes out of his way to help a mother and her daughter. He also brings something to read to the daughter.
- Neck Snap: What Sapper does to the last thug.
- No-Sell: One of the thugs harassing the mother and daughter stabs Sapper in the arm with a knife. Sapper simply stands up and stares at him for a moment, leading the latter to realize how screwed he is before Sapper effortlessly beats him down.