developed a being virtually identical to humans. These beings were known as "Replicants." They were superior in strength and equal in intelligence to the genetic engineers who created them.
These replicants were used as slave labor in the Off World Colonies. These Replicants are outlawed on Earth due to a group of the androids who rebelled, going on a psychotic rampage. The key test in determining whether or not someone is a Replicant, is the Voight-Kompf test, which monitors blush response and pupil dilation. Emotional responses are created by means of questions, and the monitored. The androids lack of empathy is the one weakness that gives them away. .
Deckerd is a Blade Runner, a police man of the future who hunts down and terminates Replicants. He wants to get out of the force, but is drawn back when 5 "skin jobs", a slang term for Replicants, cursed with a four year life span and desperately trying to extend it, hijack a ship back to Earth seeking to confront their maker. But when Deckerd falls in love with one such clone, Rachel, he has to think twice about what he is doing.
The city that Deckard must search for his prey is a huge, sprawling cyberpunk vision of the future. (The first opening sequence of the city is breathtaking, the flames, the buildings, especially the Tyrell building is mind-numbing with it's thousands of fiber-optic twinkling windows.) Whenever we the city, it is crowded by people, and every image seems to be an idol to consumerism, be they adverts for the Off World Colonies, or Coca Cola. The city proving a hazardous place for anyone, and the citizens proving to be destructive to the city. Effective ruler, genetic engineer, Eldon Tyrell, who lives 500 stories above L.A. in the Tyrell Pyramid, is father, as well as mother to the city. In this aspect we can look at the Replicants as true children of the city.
With this plot Scott sets out to examine the human condition from a variety of angles.