The Question as to which scenes in The Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 films cannot be eliminated without effecting its dramatic structure should be evaluated on that basis of whether we chose to believe Deckard is a Replicant or a Human.
In this paper, I am going to contend that Deckard is an artificial creation since this has always been the stronger of the two arguments especially when we base our interpretation on the evidence portrayed 2007 film’s ‘Final Cut’. We know that this is the version that director Ridley Scott preferred, and probably the one Villeneuve drew inspiration for the most.
I will make special reference to the added scene where Deckard is passed out by the piano and has a dream about a unicorn galloping in the woods. This scene cannot be mentioned without reference to the scene where we see Gaff leave an origami unicorn in Deckard’s apartment at the end of the movie. Gaff's little paper gift to Deckard suggests that he knows about the blade runner's dream: That Deckard's memories have been implanted and Gaff has access to them, which means that Deckard, like Rachael in the beginning of the movie, has no idea that he is actually a Replicant.
This connection is important because Deckard is never seen telling anyone about the unicorn in his dreams and in the final scene of the film, Gaff seems to know more than he lets on. Further evidence that Gaff knows that Deckard is a Replicant comes after the fight scene with Roy when Gaf calls out to Deckard, ‘You’ve done a man's job, sir. I guess you're through, huh?’ Deckard replies ‘Finished’. At which point Gaff responds: ‘It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?”- almost taunting Deckard that he might suffer the same fate as Rachel without even knowing.
The Unicorn scene in Deckards Dream in conjunction to Gaff’s origami Unicorn are thus essential scenes that cannot be removed if this is the narrative structure we chose to follow, which leads me to another critical theme in Blade Runner 2049 that cannot be omitted which further lends credibility that Deckard is a replicant. In 2049, we’re immediately told in the opening titles about the existence of the long-living Nexus 8s, and we then meet Sapper Morton an aging replicant. That all seems like significant exposition to explain how Deckard could be one. Once we finally catch up with Deckard, he’s again doing something superhuman: living in the massively irradiated wasteland that was once Las Vegas 30 years later. When he meets Tyrell’s successor, Niander Wallace who seems to think Deckard is an advanced replicant from the Tyrell era. While talking about the late Rachael, Wallace specifically accuses the erstwhile cop of being “designed to do nothing short of fall for her, right then and there,” Such are powerful scenes that cannot be omitted if it is the intention of Villeneuve much like his predecessor Scott to subtly infer that Deckard is a Replicant.
In saying that It is time that we look at those scenes that...