The many meta questions regarding scope have quite firmly established that questions must be about a work that is related to sci-fi/fantasy. We have, however, seen dissenting opinion and behavior when it comes to questions about non-SF/F elements within a SF/F work.
In a recent meta question, one user chimed in on such questions:
I feel this is very close to that - the briefcase used in the show has no real impact (as far as I know) on the show's sci-fi nature.
A great example of this was the question Nolan's Dark Knight: Why would Dent's convictions be overturned?. This question was closed as off-topic and actually migrated to the Movies/TV stack (though it was later migrated back).
In the ensuing meta discussion, the explanation offered up, and confirmed by the mod who migrated it was
The reason, I would presume is due to the fact that the sci-fi setting holds no bearing on the issues addressed in the question, nor in the answer. You could have asked a similar question from a non SF setting and had the same response.
However, the most highly voted answer (by 10:1) was that it never should have been migrated because
We have plenty of on topic questions that aren't asking for, or answered by, details specific to fantastic elements.
This same poster refers to a well-received question about archery in Game of Thrones, and their well-received answer. Archery is not at all a SF/F topic.
Similarly, many of our top-voted questions that are still open, are only marginally about SF/F elements - many are only really on-topic because they are about behind-the-scenes elements which have been deemed on-topic.
For example, Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer?.
An even better example would be Was the Cantina music deliberately off-tune or just an artifact of cheap production?. The question is open, with 91 upvotes and 0 downvotes. But the arguments used to close the Harvey Dent question all fit the Cantina Band question exactly as well.
Contrasting, in another recent meta answer, the upvoted answer states
If the question is about the unrealistic combat (or something that relates to it) then the answer would be yes, it is on-topic.
If the question was merely asking for an explanation of a plot point that was wholly unrelated to any unreal elements, then I'd say no, take it to Movies:SE.
This answer ignores whether or not the work is SF/F, and only considers whether or not the subject of the question is SF/F releated.
Even in instances when the questions are not closed or migrated, there are a number of users who leave comments such as
Perhaps this would be better suited in the Movies/TV Stack?
This is also slightly problematic. If the question is on-topic here, it's on-topic here. Should we be encouraging a migration to another site with no official cause for migration? (Note: this could be less problematic if such comments were more about finding a better audience of experts).
How should we handle questions that are about non-SF/F elements in a SF/F work?
- What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic?
- What type of “behind the scenes” questions are on-topic?
- Do my questions belong here, or in Movies & TV or in Anime & Manga?
- How do we handle conflicts with the Anime and Movies sites?
- FAQ: What topics can I ask about here?
- FAQ: What types of questions should I avoid asking?