Blade Runner 2049 is one of those rare sequels that captures the spirit of the original and expands upon it, creating a film that’s rich and unusual on its own terms. The sequel expands upon themes explored in the 1982 original, revisiting fundamental questions about what it means to be alive and exploring variations on those questions. The movie also left a lot of viewers with more practical questions about certain characters or plot points. Like many of director Denis Villeneuve’s films (such as Arrival or Enemy), you pick up a lot more upon a second viewing.
But for those that don’t have another two hours and 43 minutes to spare, we’ve put together a collection of answers to the most pressing questions you may have about Blade Runner 2049.
Warning: Many spoilers from both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 ahead.
How did Wallace know so much about Rachel’s child so quickly?
Rachel’s file was marked as important. The moment K arrived at the old Tyrell Corporation headquarters to look into it, it set off alarm bells at the highest levels of Wallace Corporation, which got Wallace’s attention. It’s unclear how much Wallace knew about Rachel before the scanning of her serial number brought her to his attention, but he clearly had more data about her than was presented to K.
In the original Blade Runner, Rachel was depicted as a prized replicant of Eldon Tyrell’s. She was the most advanced model, and Tyrell even went as far as to give her his niece’s memories and let her believe she was human (although it’s unclear how long she’d really been “active” when she meets Deckard). Blade Runner 2049 adds another wrinkle to Tyrell’s creation: Wallace later notes that Tyrell named her Rachel after the barren wife of Jacob in the Bible. Genesis 30:22 reads “And God heeded Rachel and opened up her womb.” So now we how to wonder: Was Rachel’s ability to conceive a reveal 35 years in the making?
Why did Wallace kill the latest replicant model?
Speaking of God complexes, Niander Wallace also seems to have one just as bad as Tyrell. One symptom: He calls his replicants angels because angels do the will of God and have no free will of their own. His motivations go beyond corporate profit. He wants to push humanity out as far into the cosmos as possible, and he believes the best way to do that is with an endless supply of self-replicating replicants to throw at the great pyramids of his ambition.
So there’s two ways to take the scene where Wallace examines the new replicant model: that she was the latest of Wallace’s attempts to create a version that can procreate (which would be why he examines her so closely with his floating scanners before killing her), or she’s just the latest run-of-the-mill improvement that Wallace considers obsolete now that he realizes it’s possible to create one that can give birth. Either way, he specifically stabs her where her working reproductive organs would be, so it’s pretty clear what’s on his mind when he kills her.