Happy Incept Day, Roy Batty!

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Way back on October 21, 2015, people all over the world celebrated Back to the Future Day: The date when Marty McFly travels to the future in 1989’s Back to the Future II to save his children. It was a big deal! Partly because, as my colleague Megan pointed out at the time, it was literally the only October 21, 2015 that will ever exist.

Well, listen. Christopher Lloyd and souped-up Deloreans are great and all, but I think today is the far more important event in the pantheon of science fictional film. (Or at least in my personal pantheon.) According to the 1982 classic Blade Runner, the replicant Roy Batty was incepted on this day, January 7, 2016. Portrayed by Rutger Hauer, you might remember Roy Batty for seeing attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, or glimpsing C-beams glittering in the dark near Tannhäuser Gate.

You might also remember him for beating up Harrison Ford.

So prepare your Roy Batty birthday parties. Put the Vangelis on loud. Set out a bowl of gummy eyeballs. (Here’s how to make them at home.) Eat some street food. Toast the fact that you live in a world where corporate rule and environmental ruin aren’t nearly as bad as the 1982 film thought they would be—and, above all, that you get more life: