There were plenty of fun off-site attractions at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but the Blade Runner 2049 experience took the cake. Fans endured a grueling 4 HOUR wait in line to get inside this exhibit, however there were multiple payoffs at the end.
The first was an intense virtual reality ride. Seated in a haptic chair with VR goggles and headphones, attendees were treated to flying around in a Spinner in pursuit of a rogue replicant. After weaving through Blade Runner’s multi-leveled future L.A., the adventure ends with you crashing your vehicle into the replicant’s ride and crashing on the streets below.
Once back in the real world, fans were escorted to a recreation of the crash site, complete with actors in character. I asked if there were any survivors and a cop informed me that a “skin job” (replicant) managed to escape, but that they were in pursuit. Cool stuff.
The next section featured a large room made up to appear like the streets of Blade Runner’s Los Angeles in the year 2049. It came complete with more actors in character, mock noodle bar, vending machines (which produced a small movie poster for you to keep), and replicant identification zone (which emailed your photo and test results). I failed the replicant test and was ordered by an officer to do 5 squats. At least I wasn’t “retired”!
This room, which you were allowed to browse at your own leisurely pace, also housed an incredible array of props used in the new movie. These included costumes, badges, Deckard’s classic blaster, as well as the new weapon used by Agent K (pictured above).
But wait, there’s more! The next room contained another noodle bar, this time with real noodles to eat, along with a sampling of Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey (!) at Bibi’s Bar. I’m not sure what the whiskey connection is to the movie, but I imagine it has something to do with an aging Rick Deckard trying to forget his past.
All in all, the Blade Runner 2049 was the equivalent of like 10 convention attractions rolled into one; an experience well done. I’m excited about the movie now more than ever.
Blade Runner 2049 opens in theaters October 6, 2017.