I'm trying to work out why Inception fits into the Sci-Fi genre. What elements make it 'on-topic' on a site devoted to science fiction and fantasy?

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    I think your downfall here was phrasing it as a "do my homework for me" question. Hopefully the edits will make it more palatable to the community. – Valorum May 24 '16 at 10:56
  • The current state of the question reads like some claiming that Inception should be off-topic on the site, which I don't think was the original intention. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan May 24 '16 at 15:04
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan - In its original format it was off-topic and attracting downvotes heavily. – Valorum May 24 '16 at 15:07
  • @Valorum Yes, and justified, but turning it into a "why should this movie be on-topic here?", rather than just closing it as "this isn't a place to write essays debating whether a movie is SF or not" seems counter-productive. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan May 24 '16 at 15:08
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan - I disagree. The fundamental question was "Why is Inception Sci-fi". The fact that the OP phrased that poorly to begin with is neither here, nor there. Of course the OP is always free to roll it back into its earlier format so we can close it again. – Valorum May 24 '16 at 15:11
  • @Valorum My problem is with the current wording, not the fundamental question. When tagged with scope and phrased this way, it seems to be challenging Inception's place on the site, which I don't think was the intention. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan May 24 '16 at 15:14
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan - No, but I think it's more "nice" for us to pretend we didn't see them asking for us to do their homework :-) – Valorum May 24 '16 at 15:20

Inception certainly meets the primary criteria that we would normally use to determine suitability for inclusion onto SFF:SE


The film is set "20 minutes into the future" in a world where a single large corporation dominates the Energy Sector. Futuristic settings are almost always on topic on SFF:SE


The central conceit of the film is that the main characters use a piece of technology that does not exist, the PASIV machine, originally designed to for military training but then corrupted to allow information theft. Since the film requires a fundamental suspension of disbelief, it's not only fictional, but Science-fictional.

Marketing and classification

On top of that, the film was marketed as sci-fi (complete with a viral marketing campaign and the pre-release of prequel materials)

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and the cast and crew are pretty open about it being scifi


Certainly, dreams have been a feature of films in many different ways, for years. What “Inception” deals with is a science fiction concept in which really only one simple thing has changed, which is that you and I are able to experience the same dream at the same time. Once you remove the privacy, you’ve created an infinite number of alternate universes in which people can meaningfully interact – with validity, with weigh, with dramatic consequences. - A Man and His Dream: Christopher Nolan and ‘Inception’

Main Actor

"But to answer your question about how one acts in that world or that there’s something you need to be aware of or do different, I would say absolutely not, and that’s what was exciting about even attempting, you know, this was my first science-fiction film. The earliest conversations I had with Chris were about how both of us have a hard time with science fiction. We have a little bit of an aversion to it because it’s hard for us to emotionally invest in worlds that are too far detached from what we know." - INTERVIEW: LEONARDO DICAPRIO TALKS INCEPTION AND HOOVER

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