Okay, so the full trailer for Stranger Things 4 has finally come out. Here it is:
As a followup, the Duffer Brothers did an explainer video, where they talk about the context for many of the clips, drop a few mild spoilers, and generally hype the show.
So, in keeping with my tradition of making predictions about the upcoming season and getting everything completely wrong…
Let me say it again:
+++My predictions are always wrong+++
So there are no spoilers here, only anti-spoilers.
Anyway, here goes:
- The Victor Creel storyline partially shown in the Creel House teaser will be the opening scene in the first episode, just as the frightened scientist was in S1, Kali’s gang was in S2, and the Soviet machine was in S3.
- When part two drops on July 1st, I’m guessing the flashback sequence with a very young Eleven and all the other kids will be the opening scene for that episode.
- Vecna’s very human looking eyes were once Victor Creel’s. The shot of Robert Englund, already confirmed to be an older Creel, shows him scarred and eyeless, and they named the bad guy Vecna, after all.
- Because this eye-theft would have happened in the 1950’s or early 1960s, I don’t think that Vecna is an Upside-Downed Brennar. Nor is he Steve Harrington, turned into a demo-vampire by the bites of the demobats he’s fighting in that segment. Nor is he Billy Hargrove, which would make no logical sense but apparently people want it anyway because they want to see a handsome actor and Dacre Montgomery is the only one. Given his general shape, he might be an altered human but could be anyone, including someone like Percy Fawcett. [Update: it turns out that imdb has Dacre Montgomery listed in the credits for three episodes in this new season, including the last one. Still, I’m betting he’s in flashback scenes, not the Vecna suit.]
- Billy’s tombstone is different in different shots because at least one of those scenes is a dream sequence. They did bring in Robert Englund for a small but pivotal role, after all.
- Which means that several of the shots in the trailer are from Nightmare on Elm Street-style horror dreams, most especially the rock guitar jam session inside the Upside Down.
- See also Max levitating above the grave. That’s another dream sequence. It could also be an effect of seeing the clock, as the Duffers say in their video, or a result of a few particles of the Mind Flayer that (flashback!) Billy slipped into Max’s body when she sleeping or eating Wheaties or something. But I think dream sequence is more likely. It’s not because Max is the new Eleven, the psychic girl with the ability to fight.
- Then again, in a shot near the end of the trailer, Max is running away from (what appears to be) Vecna and toward some sort of portal. Through that portal, in the far distance, you can see what appears to be that same scene: a figure floating above three others on the ground.
- So does that mean Floating Max is a doppelganger? Or that she’s trying to escape into the waking world, where Vecna’s influence has her entranced and floating? I’m not sure, but maybe I shouldn’t be making predictions about that shot of her floating.
- In their comment video, the Duffer brothers say that the shot of Eleven screaming and blasting soldiers away from her isn’t unconvincing de-aging cgi. It’s not a flashback. High school age Eleven is back in her sensory deprivation tank bathing suit and her… hair is shaved again? I assume it’s a little hair piece, because how she going to do Enola Holmes 2 while sporting a Furiosa. Still, I’m 100% on board with Classic Eleven.
- The rest of the (young) cast are going to move beyond the bowl haircuts. All these fans who want Will to come out of the closet, get a boyfriend, etc, but all I want is for him to get himself a decent haircut. Let Vecna steal it like he took Victor Creel’s eyes. Imagine here that someone took the trouble of photoshopping Will’s bowl cut onto Vecna. Anyway that’s my prediction: Will ditches the bowl haircut but doesn’t come out as gay. (Important Note: See line above between the triple plus signs.)
- But Lucas does. In S3E1, it comes out that Lucas and Max don’t spend a lot of time making out. Lucas is making fun of Mike for wanting to kiss his girlfriend, and Max says, “It’s romantic,” in a way that suggests she would like that sort of romance, too. It’s obvious Max and Lucas like each other, but Lucas doesn’t desire her in the same way. See also this tweet about one of the new guest stars on the show. What if the “shocking event” (or one of them) is that he gets caught kissing Lucas? I’m saying that, whatever they decide to do about Will’s sexuality, Lucas is gay(, too).
- Will Robyn and Nancy get together, romantically? I’m going to guess that’s a no. Yeah, Jonathan’s all the way across the country, but the “See you on the other side” exchange between her and Steve has some strong sexual chemistry going on. If Robyn is going to find love this season–and she should–it will be with Vickie, the “band nerd” played by Amybeth McNulty.
- Chrissy, played by Grace Van Dien, is the one holding the mummified hand (presumably Vecna’s) in that one, too-quick shot. It was hard to see the actor’s face, though, which is why this is a prediction rather than me saying Oh hey, look who it is.
- What will Joyce be wrong about in season 4? Nothing, as usual. Joyce is never wrong.
- There’s a gladiator scene in the trailer, where Hopper and a bunch of other prisoners face off with a demigorgon, using only axes and spears and other hand-to-hand weapons. I’m going to guess that cutting weapons will be more effective than guns, which got so many DoE agents and guards killed. I’m also going to say that the Soviets are arranging these fights because they’re hoping a wounded demigorgon will open a portal to the upside down, either to recover from its injuries or to feast on one of the corpses, and they intend to send troops through the portal after it in hopes of creating a stable gateway. The payoff to that extended gladiator scene is a frantic scramble by Soviet scientists to set up a smaller version of The Key (featured so prominently in the first shot of the trailer) so they can shoot it through the demigorgon’s little gate.
- That package with the Russian stamps all over it that Joyce examines? Murray sent it. I’m thinking Murray has some reason to believe Hopper didn’t really die, either because there’s no pile of overcooked long pork where Jim was standing or because our Russian guest star for this season reached out.
- Mike and Dustin are going to learn that Eddie, their new heavy metal DM, has been dreaming about the Upside Down when he incorporates it into their game.
- Who is in the body bag? I’m going to guess that it’s the high school guidance counselor Ms. Kelly, played by Regina Ting Chen, if she’s been brought in to Hawkins High to help the kids deal with all the trauma they’ve suffered. If the guidance counselor is one of the California characters, which would make sense because Eleven would have a lot of trouble fitting in to high school, then I don’t have a prediction.
- Who is in danger of dying this season? Let’s go through the list.
- Every guest star for the season, especially the guidance counselor, the new DM, the basketball star who’s life spirals out of control, every government employee/soldier making their first appearance, and the shady Russian guy.
- Ted. Honestly, it’s time for Ted to die as a hero or as a villain.
- Murray. Brett Gelman brings fantastic energy to the show but if he’s going to stick around he needs a new schtick. Otherwise, he should be a tragic sacrifice.
- What about the deaths of Steve or Max? I guess there’s talk in the ST fandom that both are at risk, and it sort of makes sense. Joe Keery is playing a college freshmen and he’s about to turn 30. I’m guessing he’d like the show to wrap up before he starts greying at the temples. As for Max, the Duffers said that this is a big season for her, and that Sadie Sink gives a fantastic performance. If someone is going to echo Billy’s death here in S4, it would make sense to be her.
- My biggest prediction is that Stranger Things 4 is going to end in loss and tragedy. Owens says there’s a war going on. We know the show will end with season 5. It would make sense for this extremely long season, which will have a much bigger scope than any season before, will end Person-of-Interest-style, with the bad guys triumphant.
And if anything I’ve said here annoys you, remember that I’m always wrong.