New ‘Stranger Things’ Trailer Hints at Major “Reset” for the Series

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Will Byers crying in 'Stranger Things' Season 4

Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things could be heading for a major “reset.”

While Stranger Things Season 5 is likely a few years from release, there’s still a lot to be excited about where the world of Hawkins and the Upside Down is concerned.

A brand-new Stranger Things trailer recently emerged from the Upside Down. In true Stranger Things fashion, it’s pretty mind-bending and enigmatic, however, it suggests a potentially massive change for Season 5 and the series as a whole.

In other words, time travel could be on the cards.

Eleven screaming and using her powers against Vecna in Stranger Things Season 4
Credit: Netflix

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Season 4 contains many clues that point towards potential time travel: the emphasis on the grandfather clock cannot be overstated (at one point, “dark wizard” Vecna even uses his telekinetic powers to move the fingers on the clock backward), and it’s also revealed that the Upside Down is “stuck in the past”, suggesting that time and space don’t exist there.

There’s also a line in Season 4 that references time travel. When Eleven/Jane Hopper (Millie Bobby Brown) is writing a letter to her boyfriend Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), she says, “Joyce [Byers] says time is funny like that. Emotions can make it speed up or slow down. We are all time travelers if you think about it.”

Milile Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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We also don’t fully understand the extent of Eleven’s powers. Does she possess the ability to move through time via the featureless black void she often finds herself in when trying to connect with someone telepathically? The same goes for Vecna/Henry Creel/One (Jamie Campbell Bower), whose powers are the same as Eleven’s, though seemingly stronger.

Now, the first official trailer for the upcoming West End play Stranger Things: The First Shadow (2023), which will serve as a canonical prequel, contains even more clues that point to time travel. And not just for the stage production, but for Season 5 too.

Check out the hair-raising new trailer below:

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Through the screen of an old television set, the entire trailer “rewinds” through the first four seasons of Stranger Things, before closing in on the recurring grandfather clock from Season 4. Does this mean that time travel is about to play a huge part, with The First Shadow introducing it into the franchise? Or is this just a reference to the fact that the upcoming play won’t take place in the ’80s, as The First Shadow will abandon the flagship series’ 80s setting for 1959, this time focusing on the teenage versions of Joyce Byers, Bob Newby, Jim Hopper, and even Henry Creel.

Young Henry Creel in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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It’s also worth noting the tagline at the end of the trailer: “The beginning of the Stranger Things story might hold the key to what comes next.” If time travel is on the cards, it’s possible Stranger Things could be heading for a “reset” of some kind. Think Star Trek (2009), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and Terminator Genisys (2015), whose timelines were “reset,” with each film using time travel to do so.

In the case of these three films, though, these changes were just excuses to reboot their respective franchises so they could bring in new actors and tell new stories. This is very unlikely to be the case for Stranger Things.

David Harbour as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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We already know that Season 5 will be the show’s final season, and there are no plans for characters such as Eleven and Jim Hopper (David Harbour) to return. However, if used correctly, this plot device could serve some of the spinoffs already in development, such as the two animated shows and the live-action one.

Or maybe we’re missing something else entirely. Perhaps to defeat Vecna, Eleven must go back to where it all started: when he was a child. If that’s the case, we may actually see her appear in The First Shadow. Either way, it looks like there will be some sort of overlap between the prequel and Season 5.

Millie Bobby Brown in the Hawkins Lab in Stranger Things Season 4
Credit: Netflix

As per the official website for The First Shadow, here’s the synopsis:

BEFORE THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN…

Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.

Brought to life by a multi-award-winning creative team, who take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension, this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story — and may hold the key to the end.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow official artwork
Credit: Netflix (via Stranger Things: The First Shadow website)

Related: Upcoming ‘Stranger Things’ Spin-Off Shares First Look

As per the Netflix website, here’s the synopsis for Stranger Things Season 4:

It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

Stranger Things characters looking into the Upside Down
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Is Recasting Three of Its Main Characters

Stranger Things Season 4 stars Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson), Paul Reiser (Dr. Sam Owens), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Matthew Modine (Papa/Martin Brenner), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna/One/Henry Creel).

Stranger Things Seasons 1 — 4 are now streaming on Netflix. There’s currently no release date for Season 5.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow premieres on December 14, 2023, with previews starting at the Phoenix Theatre on November 17.

Do you think Stranger Things will introduce time travel? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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