‘Stranger Things 3’ Will Explore the “Theme of Change” as the Kids Prepare for High School

     May 23, 2019

One need only look at the trailer for Stranger Things 3 to see evidence that the young stars of the Netflix series are very quickly growing into young adults, and when Stranger Things 3 debuts this summer, that will be front and center. The first season of the Netflix show focused on a group of middle school-aged kids dealing with a supernatural occurrence in their sleepy Indiana town, evoking the Amblin films of the 80s. But with the actors now entering their teen years, the show itself sounds like it’s evolving as well.

Speaking with EW, co-creator/co-showrunner Matt Duffer said Stranger Things 3 will take place the summer before the kids enter high school, and will focus primarily on change:

“We wanted to explore the theme of change,” says Matt Duffer, who created the series with his brother, Ross. “The season takes place during the last summer before high school. The kids are growing up, and that transition is going to be messy and awkward and painful. Are they able to grow up without growing apart?” Oh, and their hometown is still a hot spot for a lot of interdimensional terror. “Eleven closed the Gate, but the Mind Flayer is still alive in the Upside Down,” teases Matt. “It will find another way into Hawkins.… It’s just a matter of time.”


Image via Netflix

The trailer for the new season very much evokes the teen movies of the 80s, taking place during summer vacation as hormones are surging, and it sounds like that will very much be a focal point as things move forward. Indeed, Stranger Things 2 moved somewhat into that arena, especially in the finale with the big dance, during which a number of characters locked lips for the first time.

Speaking of which, when Stranger Things 3 picks up, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are officially an item. David Harbour spoke to EW about how this provides new challenges for Hopper as a single parent, and got blunt about Hopper’s dad-bod:

It thrusts him into a discussion with Joyce [Winona Ryder]. She’s able to offer me some advice on how to deal with being a single parent and how to, like, you know, stop being so damn controlling.” Unfortunately, parenthood has not been kind to the sheriff’s fitness level. “This season, Hopper does a lot of really big, like, action-y things,” says Harbour. “But he’s fatter than you’ve ever seen him and less capable of hurting people, but a little more capable because he’s just like a big elephant.”

If Season 1 was E.T. and Season 2 was Aliens, could Season 3 of Stranger Things be firmly moving into John Hughes teen comedy territory? Here’s hoping.

Stranger Things 3 premieres on Netflix on July 4th. For more on the series, click on links to our recent articles below: