“Stranger Things” season 3 trailer analysis — is this the last season?

Stranger Things dir. Duffer Brothers 2019

A Stranger Things season three trailer dropped recently and was met with both excitement and discussion.

Stranger Things arrived on Netflix in 2016 and quickly became one of the most popular TV series of the current decade. Perhaps the beauty of Matt and Ross Duffer's vision of 1980s youth in peril is that it appeals to a wide range of demographics, young and old. Of course, the protagonists are young kids but are so lovingly portrayed by the main cast that the majority of audiences cannot help but attach themselves to their struggles, regardless of age.

Both seasons have supplied viewers with scares, heart, romance, comedy and foremostly, nostalgia. Modern audiences often look back at the eighties as the golden age of cinema thanks to the likes of Spielberg, and the series gives them a flavour of being a kid at this time. Additionally, it offers more mature audiences the chance to drop in on the past, albeit with a rather threatening sci-fi twist. 

The hotly anticipated trailer for season three finally emerged yesterday, offering a glimpse of another exciting season. Honestly, it looks phenomenal and there's clear potential for this to be the best season yet. Be sure to take a look:

It opens up on Dustin, played superbly by Gaten Matarazzo, coming home to the sound of Mötley Crüe's  "Home Sweet Home". Immediately, we're back with a character that we love; however, something is different. He's older, and we see his toys literally running away from him. The gang's childhood is now over, and this - along with the concept of "home" - appears to be the central theme of season three. "We're not kids anymore," asserts Mike (Finn Wolfhard), as it looks like the others are ready to embrace being teenagers while Dustin is left longing for the past. 

A recent addition to the town of Hawkins, Indiana is the mall. Sure, it provides a great space for the narrative to take place, but it also signifies much more than that. Relating to the series' theme of coming of age, the mall represents a place where teenagers can venture to in search of an identity, sculpting it in any way they choose. They can find their fashion, hobbies and more in this space, while also meeting new people and socialising. Children play in the playground, and teenagers play in the mall - almost like a rite of passage, and particularly at this time. We see Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) rush into the building, eyes wide with amazement at the possibilities the place poses, and the new identity it can allow her to seize.

For the most part, the trailer explores the friendship circle as it buckles under the pressures of adolescence and impending maturity. Up until the latter part of our look into season three, there is much more of a focus on drama than threat, but perhaps this is what we need. Season two was far too familiar in terms of the sci-fi horror elements, so the tone of this new trailer feels like a really welcome change, highlighting that the genre elements aren't exactly the main sell this time around. However, the threat is still there and will place the citizens of Hawkins in great danger. 

The danger for us - the audience - on the other hand, is of the characters growing up. This is mere speculation, but as the main cast get older the series may lose its magic. The trailer almost seems to convey a sense of farewell; we have seen these kids grow and by the end of the season we may have followed them to their limits. As Mike says, they are no longer kids. A time will come when we say goodbye, and honestly, it could very well be in the last episode of season three. Often TV series grow dull and overstay their welcome, but the Duffer brothers have the choice to follow a different fate.

They have done a wonderful job on Stranger Things and if they wrapped it up now they would have the opportunity to helm so many grand and exciting projects. Their series could go out on a high, rather than treading on as the cast get older and potentially jaded with the direction it's limping toward. Who knows, this could be it. 

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