The Conception of Inception

By: Peyton Lawson

In the depths of a dream, everything feels so real and so right; upon waking up, it is quickly discovered that the details of the dream were wack—utterly impossible. Why is this? The 2010 hit, Inception, also known as the greatest movie of all time, explains the phenomenon. The main character, Dom Cobb, is a skilled criminal in the risky crime of extraction, stealing secrets and data from the subconscious while the subject is in a deep dream state. Inception is complicated, action-packed, and challenging. The audience spends the entire movie trying to wrap their minds around the concepts and details of dream extraction. Just as one begins to feel confident in their understanding of the plot, the last 30 seconds turn everything upside down. Without saying too much, the audience is left to wonder, “Is the entire movie a dream?” Inception will leave you thinking. Personally, I have watched every minute of the thriller six times through and still notice new details and connections each time. If you have not watched the action-packed film, drop everything and get your hands on it. If you did sit through the movie and came out confused, don’t worry, I have compiled a list of things to understand in order to understand Inception.


  • The Rules of the Dream State:


While made complicated in the Inception, these rules can be explained using what we know about our dream world: deep sleeps are more difficult to wake from and dreams during deep sleep seem most real, even if they’re wacky. The deeper a person goes into the dreams, the more real it feels. Additionally, time feels faster in deeper levels of dreams. An hour in reality will feel like years several dreams in.


  • Limbo


Limbo is a state at the deepest levels of dreams. A person in Limbo has gone so far into the layers of dreams that their brain is no longer able to determine what is real. Once this state is reached, a person’s brain halts any attempt to wake them and no longer knows if it is dreaming or not.


  • Totems


Each person involved in the extraction process has their own totem which helps them separate reality from the dream world. Cobb’s totem is his late wife’s spinning top. If it falls, he knows he is not dreaming—or so we think.


  • The Extraction Team


The Extractor—The theft

The Dreamer—The person whose mind is hosting the dream

The Architect—The person who designs the world

pThe Forger—The person responsible for making sure the details of the dream are correct

Now that you have the basics of the movie down, go watch it again. If you have never seen the exceptional movie that is Inception, go watch it. Seriously, go. Mark my words, you will not regret it.


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