Ahead of the release of Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve employed three of his buddies to direct short films that tell the story of what went on between the events of the original Blade Runner and the sequel. The first involved a meeting to decide the fate of the Tyrell Corporation, and the second introduced us to Dave Bautista’s replicant character. The third is directed by Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichiro Watanabe, and it’s gorgeous.

Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 gives us some background to an event that pretty much decided the fate of the replicants and the Tyrell Corporation. In the year 2022 in Blade Runner’s universe, three Nexus 8 replicants trigger an EMP that throws the entire metropolis of Los Angeles into a blackout, causing chaos as giant neon billboards flicker out and floating cars tumble to the ground.

It’s a very cool piece of work, and Watanabe’s gloomy, moody visuals and Flying Lotus’ Vangelis-esque soundtrack fit cozily into the Blade Runner universe. The short is complete with a dove, Edward James Olmos saying “skin-jobs” (good to see you again, Gaff!), and even an “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe” moment.

Blade Runner 2049 is already getting rave reviews from critics out of early screenings, with some even whispering “Oscar” for cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose work already looks stunning in the trailers. Sounds like Denis and his crew know what they’re doing after all. Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters October 6.

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