Blade Runner and Jurassic Park

There is, of course, a perfectly logical point of commonality between these two dystopias: the prominence of genetic engineering in both settings. But the exact details of the connection are a little harder to tease out.

So much depends on what became of International Genetic Technologies, Inc (better known as InGen). While the third film makes it fairly clear that the company itself is most likely gone, it’s unlikely that the valuable intellectual properties it developed have been forgotten. We know from the first film that InGen had an industrial espionage problem even when things were going well – how much worse will that have gotten when there isn’t enough money to maintain security?

So one way or another, it seems likely that the genetic advances spearheaded by John Hammond have made their way into the hands of Eldon Tyrell. And Tyrell, of course, took them to the next level, improving on and even perfecting some of the things Hammond had tried and failed to create. (Most notably, of course, an off-switch.)

But there’s no way this experimentation was perfect or painless. Somewhere out there in space – perhaps near the shoulder of Orion, or by the Tannhauser Gate – there is a world (or possibly more than one) populated by the discards of Tyrell’s research. The unusably mutated, the horrifically miscagenated, the irretrievably insane failures of a genetic crash research program. All trying to survive in a world they never made (and to which they are very poorly suited), to build lives and even civilisations armed with little more than race memory. (Being a properly parsimonious businessmen, it is likely that Tyrell uses this place to help train replicants intended for military use – might as well get some return for that investment, right?)

Blade Runner Jurassic Park

Amber and Blade Runner

Put aside, for the moment, the question of whether or not androids dream of electric sheep. The question today is why Phil Deckard dreams of unicorns.

And why he doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

I think it’s obvious: the man’s an Amberite. An amnesiac Amberite – although as his unicorn dreams suggest, his memory is trying to heal itself. And there’s only one Amberite he could be: Corwin.

Obviously, this suggests that the Amber story as we know it would need to be revised somewhat: clearly, Corwin didn’t awaken from his amnesia quite as early in this variant (or maybe this is it – Zelazny was blissfully non-specific about the exact timing in “Nine Princes In Amber”). The events of the rest of the story can play out more or less as we know them (at least for the first quintet of novels; the second quintet date themselves in our world a little more firmly).

The question then becomes: what was he doing there? And who knows that he is there? Is someone watching him? Is another Amberite behind the Tyrell Corporation? (And if so, is is Brand, or perhaps Caine?) The replicants could be a potentially unstoppable force in open warfare – is someone creating an army? For that matter, has their use in war attracted any Amberite attention – has Benedict glimpsed attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion?

Amber Blade Runner