Batty was built for combat, destruction, to kill. Throughout the film, he joins the other Replicants in trying to find a way to avoid their imminent ‘retirement’. Though the Replicants are supposed ‘villains’ in the film, in the end they want what most humans do: to live. We assume that the Replicants are not capable of anything good, that they do nothing but evil; But when they were created and given a purpose or deed, to them that was the right thing to do. They were only doing what they were built to do, they had no choice but to do the ‘evil’ they were assigned. But Batty chooses a different path; he goes against his nature and saves Deckard. To me, this is what separates Batty from the rest of the Replicants, his newfound ability of free will. Even after Deckard had killed all of Batty’s friends and is then after him, Batty spares him. This demonstrates that he understands the value of life, what is means to be ‘good’ and better than Deckard, the supposed ‘good guy’.
After his maker couldn’t give him what he desired, what was Batty to do? All his friends had been ‘retired’, he didn’t want to go down easily, he had to make sure the man who was to kill him had to work to complete the task; proving that Batty was strong, but also that is better than any human. He accepts death. I do not feel that this compensates for all the wrong Batty has done, but in the end, he develops feelings and an understanding of what most humans don’t, what it means to be human. That is what makes Batty’s story so heartbreaking is that after his discovery, he has to die, but accepting that he is going to die proves that he has grasped the concept of humanity.
I value the concept of free will, that there is always a choice, always an alternative. Sometimes it seems like here is only one way, one path. I hate not having a choice, for a while, Batty only had one path, to destroy. But he chose to spare Deckard, a different alternative, what he thought was right. This is how he is more human than robot; he makes a decision for himself, despite his programming. I think that despite all the bad things you have done, you can still be redeemed, still become ‘good’ after being bad. Most villains are just misunderstood and have a reason as to why they are committing ‘evil’, Batty is a remarkable character, we are led to believe throughout the entire film, that he is the ‘bad guy’ then suddenly he does something good. His choice, his free will saved him from dying a ‘monstrous creation’, his last act was not choice for him; that is a memory that should not be “lost like tears in rain”.
I think that the film makes us question our own value of life; we too often disregard how lucky we are and forget how much we have. It is not until something and happens when we think about how good we have it. I think Batty’s situation gave Deckard the reality check he needed, he sees now that life is short, time slips away so easily. Deckard was usually drinking and moping around the overcrowded city of Los Angeles, he didn’t really care about much. Batty told him that he had “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”. Deckard began to realize that he had