Last Friday, Netflix released the final episodes of season 4 of “Stranger Things.”
As Collider reported, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer, known as the Duffer brothers, revealed that they drew a lot of inspiration from one Star Wars movie for the finale: more specifically “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.”
The duo reported that the middle movie in the Star Wars original trilogy was instrumental in wrapping up some of the storylines and preparing for what’s to come in the show’s fifth and final season.
The Duffer Brothers Wanted ‘Stranger Things’ To Have A Star Wars-esque ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Ending
Matt Duffer said, “We always have wanted to do an Empire Strikes Back ending, which we tried to do with [Season 4], where it’s the sense of loss.”
Although there are far more deaths in season 4 of “Stranger Things” than in “Empire Strikes Back,” there are certain parallels between Max (Sadie Sink) left in a coma and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) frozen in carbonite. Collider also noted that Hawkin’s face is a possible mirror of the state of the Rebel Alliance at the end of Episode V.
“We knew we wanted to end with spores falling in Hawkins,” Matt said. “I don’t remember how early in the process [we wanted that], but pretty early in the process.”
“Like I said, we were very much inspired by Empire Strikes Back, that ending where they’re looking out the window,” Matt continued. “We knew we wanted to end on the backs of our characters as they’re looking out towards this dark supernatural plume that was spitting out these spores all over their town as they’re facing this evil, that has not retreated but very much coming in an aggressive way into their town.”
“We wanted to hand at the notion of war, and a supernatural war coming to Hawkins,” he added.
Ross Duffer Compares ‘Stranger Things’ To ‘Fellowship of the Rings’
Ross Duffer explained that, just how “Empire Strikes Back” sets up for the events of “Return of the Jedi,” they wanted season 4 of “Stranger Things” to set up for what’s to come in the show’s fifth and final season.
“The goal of this [Season 4], unlike other seasons, like Matt’s saying, is that sense of anticipation where you’ve set up what the stakes are, which is something we haven’t done for other seasons,” Ross said. “So we’ve set the stakes, and it’s just, the feeling you always want to try to get is that Empire Strikes Back feeling of, ‘oh my God, I’m so excited to see what happens next.”
He also compared it to the first movie in the “Lord of the Rings,” franchise, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” saying, it’s “as they’re just headed off towards Mordor.”
“That’s the dream, that’s the hope. That’s the feeling you want,” Ross continued. “Which we just haven’t been able to do before, because generally we really wrap up the storylines, and then we go, oh, but there’s some horror lurking beneath the surface that the audience sees that our characters don’t necessarily see.”
“In this case, our characters truly see the horror,” he continued. “It’s like, what are they going to do? How are they going to deal with this? What is their journey going to look like? So those were the two films that we referenced when we were working on that last shot.”
It remains to be seen what’s to come of everyone’s fan-favorite characters or how the series will eventually play out. Sadie Sink revealed everything she knows about Max’s fate in “Stranger Things” season five, which has yet to begin filming. Fans can check out her interview about the upcoming final season here.