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Roy Batty is the leader of the renegade Nexus-6 replicants and the main antagonist of the film. He is highly intelligent, fast, and skilled at combat, and yet still learning how to deal with developing emotions.
With an A Physical Level (superhuman strength & endurance) and an A Mental Level (genius-level intellect), he is probably the most dangerous of all the fugitive replicants. He is a combat model, used off-world for military service. He and five other replicants come to Earth hoping to find a way to lengthen their lifespan.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die
Blade Runner // Batty
I’ve seen things… seen things you little people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium… I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments… they’ll be gone.
Blade Runner // Batty’s original script, before Hauer’s rewrite
The place name Tannhäuser Gate (also written “Tannhauser Gate” and “Tanhauser Gate”) is not explained in the film. It possibly derives from Richard Wagner’s operatic adaptation of the legend of the medieval German knight and poet Tannhäuser. The term has since been reused in other science fiction sub-genres.
Joanne Taylor, in an article discussing film noir and its epistemology, remarks on the relation between Wagner’s opera and Batty’s reference, and suggests that Batty aligns himself with Wagner’s Tannhäuser, a character who has fallen from grace with men and with God. Both man and God, as she claims, are characters whose fate is beyond their own control.
I’ve seen things…
Roy Batty is able to use J.F. Sebastian to get a meeting with Tyrell, the head founder of the company and his creator. Tyrell refers to him as his “prodigal son”, and tells him his life cannot be extended, but that he should revel in the life that he has, as he has done and seen things others could only dream of. Following this, he kills Tyrell and probably Sebastian.
Deckard retires the remaining replicants and is hunted by a dying Roy. Trying to escape, Deckard ends up dangling from a building and is saved from the fall by Roy. As he dies, Roy tells Deckard about the things he saw in his life and how all those memories would be gone forever. He then smiles, saying, “Time… to die”, and passes away.