Today we have seen a couple of questions about the latest Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

As a spy film, we have seen characters use gadgets and devices that do not exist (or do not exist at the level of advancement we see in the film) in real life. Examples of these gadgets include the masks, the voice disguisers, the general technology etc.

But there is very little in these films otherwise that could be classed as Science Fiction, and nothing at all that could be classed as Fantasy.


Are questions about the Mission: Impossible franchise on topic?


3 Answers 3


I believe not. Mission Impossible is a series of action-spy genre, and does not to any extent fit the definitions of either Science-Fiction OR Fantasy.

This is the same as James Bond, or Jason Bourne (Hey their initials are the same!!).

I do not believe that action-spy should on-topic in sci-fi & fantasy.

There is the entire Movies stack exchange for generic movie questions.

  • 4
    The community has spoken. Aug 14, 2015 at 8:11
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    The consensus in the past has always been that you could ask about, say, fictional technology from such a movie, but that your question would have to be specifically about a clearly sci-fi aspect, and not merely tangentially related.
    – KutuluMike
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:49

Yes, it's on-topic, as the spy-fi subset of sci-fi has never been officially off-topic.

Relevant decisions:

  1. James Bond? - Yes
  2. Nolanverse Batman? - Yes
  3. Works you can make a good case for? - Yes

Please note that #3 was always our policy, but Spy-Fi was policed outside of policy through comments, but never truly justified through our meta decisions.

This question sort of got lost in the recent discussions, as both the James Bond and Nolanverse decisions have come after this question and existing top answer.

Our policy is designed to be inclusive, I'm not really making any new declarations here. I just wanted to call out that the current top answer is essentially at odds with all of our other discussions on the subject.

Also worth noting regarding spy-fi in general:

Do we have to ask if all these works are on-topic or not?

These are not cases where people are arguing over classes of work -- spy-fi, horror, anthropomorphic animals, etc. They are, to be brutally honest, cases where people just decide for themselves that they don't like the scope rules and try to end-run around them by coming to meta.

Again, in theory, that's what meta is for -- if we're going to change the rules, here's where we do it. In practice, though, people don't really want to change the rules overall, they just want to make the case that this time we should bend them a little. I think we'd all be better off if we just relaxed a bit and let people ask their questions. (emphasis added)

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    Batman isn't just an action-spy film though. It's set in a universe where Superman is a thing.
    – Valorum
    Jul 19, 2017 at 18:02
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    @Valorum Not Nolanverse.
    – user31178
    Jul 19, 2017 at 19:12
  • True, but there's plenty of scifi elements in the Nolanverse
    – Valorum
    Jul 19, 2017 at 19:22
  • @Valorum Not sure why you're telling me that, when I'm the one that wrote the top 2 answers cementing Nolanverse's place on SFF. I could do something similar for Mission Impossible, but I shouldn't have to at this point.
    – user31178
    Jul 20, 2017 at 13:01
  • MI is largely rooted in the possible though
    – Valorum
    Jul 20, 2017 at 13:17
  • @Valorum So is the entire genre of hard sci-fi!
    – user31178
    Jul 20, 2017 at 13:37

My argument for the Mission: Impossible films being on-topic comes from the fact that if they had been published as comic books first (or based on comic books in someway), we would almost certainly consider them on-topic thanks to the series being full of gadgets and devices that lean slightly into science fiction territory.

Proof of this is the acceptance of the tag, which as a series of films;

  • Contains a similar amount of science fiction elements as the Mission: Impossible films.

  • Does not contain any references to the more science fiction or fantasy heavy concepts from the comics.

  • Well, that's the great thing about the Nolan Batman trilogy. Since it is on-topic against any reasonable considerations, it now can serve as a precedent to make practically everything that's clearly off-topic magically on-topic.
    – TARS
    Aug 13, 2015 at 11:41
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    @TARS - Off-topic apart from the futuristic technology and dystopian fantasy world?
    – Valorum
    Aug 13, 2015 at 12:36
  • @Richard Which futuristic technology? The common tech-thriller action blockbuster technology? Which dystopian fantasy world? (Disregarding the difficult question if dystopia makes sci-fi.)
    – TARS
    Aug 13, 2015 at 12:39
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    Batman's cape, car, plane, visor and primary weapons are all scifi. Gotham city is dystopian.
    – Valorum
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:52
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    @Richard Pff, my friggin' iPad is sci-fi for that matter. ;-)
    – TARS
    Aug 13, 2015 at 16:01
  • if you are holding your iPad and it works - that isn't fiction
    – NKCampbell
    Jul 21, 2017 at 16:56

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