« back to Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Share |

About this FAQ
This FAQ is in the set:
» Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Viewed 20943 times / Question improved 0 times / Answer improved 1 times / Commented 1 times
Additional Links
Merges and Splits
No merging related to this FAQ / What is merging?
No splitting related to this FAQ / What is splitting?
» Merge / Split

Why was Saito so much older than Cobb in limbo?

Saito entered limbo earlier than Cobb. Saito entered limbo when he died on level 3, Cobb did not enter until later. As limbo is considered a deeper level, time goes by slowly and even though Cobb entered not too long after Saito on upper level, much time has in fact passed in limbo.

Alternative: Saito died on Level 1, the level where he sustained his fatal wound. The death throws were transmitted through to dream Levels 2 and 3. His dying on Level 3 was just a reflection of his death on Level 1.

Alternative 2:  When you die in Limbo, you wake up (evidenced by Cobb and Mal waking up after being run over by the train).  The fourth dream level is Limbo.  Cobb, Mal, Ariadne, and Fischer were all in Limbo in the climactic scene when the world is crumbling apart.  Satio dies on the third level (the snow level), and consequently enters Limbo also.  But technically, Cobb entered Limbo before Satio since Satio died (on the third level) after Cobb and Ariadne enter Limbo to retrieve Fischer.  However, Cobb later dies on the first level because he drowns in the van.  This death comes well after Satio's death.  And because of the time differences between dream levels, much more time has passed in Limbo than has in the first dream level.  So by the time Cobb dies in the first dream level, enough time has passed in Limbo for Satio to have become an old man.  Thus, when Cobb meets Satio at the end of the film, he is much younger than Satio.

Additionally: when Cobb intentionally goes into Limbo with Ariadne to retrieve Fischer, he is stabbed by Mal.  He does not die in Limbo immediately, however.  Consequently, he is unable to ride the kicks back to reality (like the rest of the crew, other than Satio) because he cannot get out of Limbo without dying.  Ariadne and Fischer are both able to ride the kicks back to reality because they both died in Limbo, meaning they woke up on the third dream level (the snow level) in order to ride the kicks.  Cobbs death by blood loss (because he was stabbed by Mal) was delayed.  If he died in Limbo, it was so delayed that by the time he woke in the third dream level, he immediately died from the building crashing down on him, or by drowning in the van on the first dream level.  So, even if it would have been impossible for Cobb to reenter Limbo while he was already in it, he could have died in Limbo, woken up in the third dream level, then almost immediately died in either the third dream level or the first dream level, thus putting him right back into Limbo.  But this time, he has reentered Limbo well after Satio.  Therefore, it would only make sense that Satio is much older than Cobb in the final scene of the dream sequence, due to the drastic differences in time between the different dream levels.

Alternative 3 (for "Film is Cobb's dream" theory): Saito assumes the role of his older self to make Cobb realise he's dreaming after confronting Mal for the last time. This provides some  final form of inception on Cobb and makes him want to come back to reality.

pleasestopthisnow provided an answer 2011-03-04 22:25:52 UTC view / hide
Anon_241 asked the question 2011-03-04 22:25:52 UTC view / hide
Shaka_Adim improved the answer 2011-05-14 12:43:02 UTC view / hide
Daniel Johnson commented 2018-01-11 04:55:59 UTC
Saito died first and entering Limbo, then Cobb died because of His fatal injury after being stabbed with knife by Mal in 4th level dream that He thought it was a Limbo, He eventually goes to "Real Limbo", and Saito was already there, older than Cobb.

Any thought? Add Comment / Discussion:

view more from
« Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide »

© 2015 SmartFaqt.com