08 January 2016

The "tears in rain" soliloquy

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
I suppose I watched Blade Runner two or three times before I finally came to view this very brief soliloquy by the replicant as one of the key thematic moments of the film.
Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples asserted that Hauer wrote the "Tears in Rain" speech... In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain" although the original script, displayed during the documentary, before Hauer's rewrite, does not mention "Tanhauser Gate"...

Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to "make his mark on existence... the robot in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of."

When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried. This was due to the power of the dying speech coming at the end of an exhausting shoot.
Reposted from 2012 because today is Roy Batty's birthday ("incept date") - as documented by this screencap from an early scene in the movie:


The Telegraph is posting a series of tributes to Roy Batty today.

14 comments:

  1. Unless I'm going crazy, he doesn't actually say "Time to die" in the linked video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_saUN4j7Gw&feature=related

    Above is a link to almost the exact same clip except that he does say it. Perhaps the linked version isn't from the director's cut?

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    1. There are, I think, six or seven different versions of the movie. I decided to embed the full text even though it didn't match the version used for this video.

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    2. After thinking about it some more, I've decided to remove the "time to die" phrase as being only tangentially related to the message.

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    3. Thanks for posting this. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It seems a bit out of place that Roy Batty's incept date is 8Jan16 as we are no where close to living the type of existence represented in the movie. Still, interesting to consider what is means to "be alive."

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    4. It's a good line, 'Time to die'. It echoes the line spoken by Leon, mentioned elsewhere in these comments. There's a difference though; Leon is a thug, and he says it right before killing Deckard - only prevented by Rachel.
      With Roy Batty, he's the thinker, the philosopher of the crew. When he says it, it's a token of regret. He doesn't want to leave this life, but it's... time to die.

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  2. Dialogue points: when Roy says "tears in rain" he is crying, while it is raining.

    "Time to die" is what the other replicant, Leon, says to Deckard, intending to kill him, moments before Rachel shoots Leon with Deckard's gun.

    The fact that every replicant has a 'time to die' programmed in to him or her from the moment of inception, is one of the main themes of the film. "I want more life, fucker!" is what Roy says to Eldon Tyrell, the inventor of replicant technology. But in the end, he doesn't get any more life.

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    1. Thanks, anon. I've deleted Leon's words from the embedded text.

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  3. I love this scene, especially the dove the flies up after the "robot" dies. I have always taken that as a sort of hint that the replicants had spirits, and that life did not necessarily cease upon death.

    That's my take, anyway. :)

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    1. I agree it was not coincidental.

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    2. Brad, indeed, I think you are right. Just as there have been times in history where we thought--you name it, slaves, Native Americans, or whomever--did not have souls, using that as a justification to treat them differently, so, too, it seems the film is sending the message that, despite their temporary nature, the replicants had souls and were fully human in some way.

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  4. Indeed, one of the best scenes in sci-fi movie history, and no doubt adding to the reasons Blade Runner was recently voted - correct me if I'm wrong - by some group, somewhere, as the best sci-fi film of all time. Just remembering this sequence makes me want to see the whole film again, but WHICH version??!! I never knew there was more than one. Ridley Scott must hate it that he didn't have the final say because it was HIS film. Novelists or classical composers didn't have various versions of their creations, if you know what I mean. An official concert of Beethoven's fifth and someone put an organ part in it, or a saxophone solo by ...?

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  5. the making of called "dangerous days" is well worth a look

    also, I thought that the replicants were essentially shown up as people, and the business was really just another slant on slavery. Born into slavery

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    1. I found the information on imDB -

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1080585/

      - but it's not available in our library system, unfortunately.

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