Q & A: "Old Saito sequence at the start of the film"
Q1.1) Who was the bald, old man?
Answer: Old Saito. This would become clearer by the end of the film.
Q1.2) Where was Cobb?
Answer: Cobb was in limbo, together with Old Saito.
Q1.3) Who were the two kids running away?
Answer: The two kids were Cobb’s subconscious projection of his children.
Q1.4) Why were there Japanese guards?
Answer: Old Saito had been in limbo for very long, maybe 50 years. During his time there, his subconscious had built a palace in which he lived in, and the guards were his projections to protect him.
Q1.5) How did this sequence fit into the whole film?
Answer: This sequence had no important relevance. It was just an opening sequence that introduced Cobb’s character, albeit only briefly, and his short interaction with Old Saito. Viewers would be able to draw the link between this and the “Old Saito sequence at the end of the film”. They were related to each other, with the latter building upon the former.