In the first minute of Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has a dream that features Solomon Lane and Ethan's ex-wife Julia. In the dream, Solomon Lane does not appear clean-shaven and wearing glasses as he did in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Instead, he has a beard and no glasses.

Solomon Lane before and after

Since Ethan is dreaming, and Julia is from his past, why does he not picture Solomon as he was in the past too? Is there an in-world explanation of that? Since Solomon has been shuttled around for interrogation, I don't see why Ethan would know - especially in a dream - what he looks like now. Ethan doesn't keep up on the appearances of every bad guy he captures, does he? And he's not psychic as far as we know?

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    I think this is ultimately opinion based. You're asking why Ethan's dreams were the way they were, but dreams, as we all know, don't always makes sense. "Ethan keeps up with all the bad guy's appearances" and "Ethan is psychic" are far from the only explanations here. Maybe it was just coincidence. Maybe it was that slice of cold pizza he had before bed. There's a better than good chance that even Ethan himself may not be able to answer this question, in-universe.
    – Steve-O
    Aug 19, 2018 at 17:23
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    @Steve-O Good points. I meant to ask, "How did the filmmakers decide that Ethan would most likely dream of a Solomon Lane that looked different from the one he had the most contact with?" That's still not the best question, but the filmmakers made a decision about how to portray Solomon in Ethan's dream, and I'm wondering why they made the decision that they did. I didn't find any interviews addressing that online. Aug 20, 2018 at 0:03
  • I find this to be somehow related to the Superman's mustache story. I think that the filmmakers simply don't like shaving actors' beards. Aug 20, 2018 at 0:52
  • ... also people don't really pay attention to these types of detail. I'm pretty sure everyone who read your question had an aha moment about it for the first time. Aug 20, 2018 at 0:56
  • @ibrahimmahrir I didn't recognize Solomon in the dream. Well, his voice was familiar, but to me he didn't look anything like he did in Rogue Nation. I suspect other audience members had the same experience. Aug 20, 2018 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


Since it took so much effort to catch Solomon Lane, I am gonna assume Ethan would want to keep track of him wherever he goes, furthermore it's certainly possible he saw him in the news or something.

*This answer is just my opinion but I am pretty sure you cant find a better explaination than this.


So there is a fun theory floating out there that's kind of fun that every time that Ethan Hunt has died (and he's died twice briefly in the franchise) he's returned from the dead with a new skill or ability. Given that he's slipped briefly from this veil he perhaps has developed powers of prognostication from his travels...

Also bear in mind that in the dream, Ethan didn't just foresee Lane's beard, but the Kashmir location and the detonation of a nuclear device - although that part of course didn't occur thanks to his intervention.

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    This looks more like a comment than an actual answer to the question. Unless you can provide some evidence and reformat your answer to directly address the question this will likely get deleted.
    – onewho
    Aug 20, 2018 at 14:50
  • I agree with @onewho that this might get deleted, but that's a really fun theory - especially considering Kashmir, the nuclear bomb, and seeing Julia! Aug 20, 2018 at 15:12
  • It's a GREAT theory specifically because of Alias! When Bad Robot was hired to revive the franchise, because Tom Cruise suggest that Paramount hire Abrams after seeing Alias, both MI:III and MI:GP "riff" most noticeably from Alias Pilot and Season Finale! But moreover Alias mythology stems from an 15th Century inventor and prophet that creates and forsees things related to main characters and the time they live. So "visions" of the future and contesting the outcome of events is a VERY Bad Robot thing to do, even though this seems more subtle than usual/ Feb 13, 2019 at 15:57

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