With the release of the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer this Monday, film lovers all over the world were given either a reason to rewatch Ridley Scott's beloved 1982 original — or a reason to watch that sci-fi classic if they haven't already had the pleasure. I'm sure there are Easter eggs and references galore in the trailer if you're someone who knows the world of Blade Runner well; but if you're not (like me), then the two-minute trailer probably just left you with a ton of unanswered questions (also like me).
Here's what I do know about Blade Runner 2049, which comes out in theaters on Oct. 6. First of all, it looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous, with cinematography from legendary 13-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins (Skyfall) and a score by brilliant Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival). I know it's a collaboration between two of this year's Oscar nominees, director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) and star Ryan Gosling (La La Land). And I know it's a sequel 35 years in the making, riffing off a film that itself was inspired by the iconic Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?.
As for the rest? Yeah, I have pretty much no idea what's going on here. If you're also uninitiated in Blade Runner lore, then you'll probably have some variation on these 13 questions while watching the 2049 trailer:
1. What does Atari have to do with anything?
This giant logo for the bygone gaming system is one of the first things you see when the trailer starts. Is the revitalization of Atari an important plot point in the first film? Is this just the film's way of setting a retro atmosphere, like Guardians Of The Galaxy's use of '80s music? Is it just particularly un-subtle product placement?
2. What are these things?
My limited knowledge of Blade Runner includes the term "replicants." Are these replicants? Dead humans? Just particularly weird sculptures? Is this a future-museum?
3. What's up with Jared Leto's eyes?
Is he a replicant? Also, will Jared Leto ever be able to out-weird himself?
4. Is this a replicant?
Ah, here we go. "Happy birthday," Leto tells a gooey person as it slides out of a giant plastic bag. This must be a replicant, right?
5. Claire Underwood??
OK, that's not so much a question as it is an expression of delight at the fact that Robin Wright is in this movie — even if her striking features are obscured behind a screen of falling water. Is that Ryan Gosling in the background? Is she is boss?
6. Who did that to Ryan Gosling's beautiful face?
Gosling is playing a character whose only name is "Officer K," according to IMDb. Does Blade Runner take place in the same world as Men In Black? If so, is Ryan Gosling's character somehow related to Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K?
7. What is this place?
Given its portentous size, prominent placement in the trailer, and the fact that Harrison Ford is hiding out inside of it, I assume that this building is an important place, probably a reference to a setting in the original movie. If so, what is it? And where is it? This dusty orange location looks very different than the rest of the blue, rain-soaked cityscapes from the rest of the trailer.
8. What's Harrison Ford been up to?
It's been 30 years since the events of the first film, which (hilariously) took place in 2019. What's Ford's character been doing since then? Also, why does he get a full name — Rick Deckard — while Gosling only gets one initial?
9. What happened on this date?
Assuming that's a date, it's a reference to something that happened two years after the event of the first movie. Or could these be coordinates? Or a Bible passage? Or a replicant's serial number?
10. Is that Elvis?
I guess part of future technology includes the ability to resurrect old rock & roll legends?
11. What's Drax doing here?
Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast; I would catch it. That's why I was able to notice that Dave Bautista (aka GOTG's Drax the Destroyer) is apparently in this movie.
12. Is this movie related to Ghost In The Shell?
Didn't that movie also take place in a future-city featuring giant, building-sized, holographic advertisements? Is that just a coincidence? Did one rip the other off? Or are the two worlds connected at all?
13. What's in this book?
Or, more importantly (given the missing pages), what's not in it? Who does it belong to? And why on earth would someone deface a poor innocent book in such a vile manner? #justiceforbooks
Fortunately, I still have five months until 2049 comes out this fall to finally sit down and watch the original Blade Runner. I presume that will answer many of my questions here; the rest will have to wait until the sequel premieres on Oct. 6.