Roy Batty is the leader of the Nexus 6 replicants in Blade Runner. He is played by Rutger Hauer and he makes me cry.
A select few films make me cry. Local Hero, wow, the last few seconds of that make me lose it entirely. The phone is ringing! Somebody answer it, tell him he can come home! Aw hell…
And The Iron Giant. “Su-per-man”. Aw hell…
But Roy Batty is special. He makes me cry manly tears. I mean, my tears are always manly, they clang when they hit the floor then dribble off looking for a fight, but my Blade Runner tears are ferocious.
He is not human, he did not have a childhood, which is probably just as well with a name like “Roy Batty”. Children can be very cruel. School would have been a nightmare.
He is an android with a limited lifespan, and he knows the end is coming. “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long” he is told, “and your flame has burned so very bright”. Yeah, but that doesn’t help when the end comes. Because it’s harder to lose a flame that brillliant. Everything seems so much darker without it.
“I have done questionable things” he tells his maker at one point. Hehe, Roy, I have done questionable things, but I’ve never squished someone’s head in with my bare hands. Maybe that’s why I like him. His moral compass is so skew whiff it makes me feel karmically superior.
He fights. He fights for love. But his love dies, leaving him with nothing to fight for. Oh, he kicks Harrison Ford through some walls and snaps a couple of fingers but that’s more out of habit than anything. He knows it won’t bring his beloved, crazy Pris back and so in a moment of empathy with his pursuer he decides not to pull his head off. He doesn’t even try. I think that’s very mature of him.
And in the end he just sits down and dies. If I ever die, I would like to go just like him: cross-legged in the rain, amid a neon-drenched dystopian landscape, tits out, holding a dove.
I probably wouldn’t wear the cycling shorts.
“All those moments will be lost in time, ” he says, “like tears in rain.”
He is talking about seeing attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and suchlike. But I have moments that will be lost like tears in rain too. I haven’t seen C-beams glitter in the dark but I have seen some really beautiful things. Honestly, even just this week. Even just today. The sunrise this morning was gorgeous.
Maybe I don’t like to think about the happiest, beautifullest moments of my life being washed away. But the rains will come, and time is an indiscriminate healer. Aw hell, Roy.
“Time to die,” he says, and he releases the dove and Vangelis hits the button marked “melancholy” on his big synthesiser and Roy Batty dies.