Chief Jim Hopper apparently died at the end of Stranger Things season 3, but the first teaser trailer for the fourth run revealed that, surprise surprise, the character had made it out of the explosion in the Russian lab after all and had now been taken back to the Mother Country and was stuck doing hard labor in a gulag. This already gave us much to chew on, but star David Harbour has revealed another major plot thread for Hopper that will be explored next season.
While attending Liverpool Comic-Con earlier this year, the actor came clean about something very exciting. Harbour told the crowd that season 4 will finally answer a mystery that was teased in the show back in season 2 but was actually in the planning from the very beginning. It’s all do to with a scene in season 2, episode 4 when Eleven discovers “five boxes, one of which has Brenner’s stuff from Hawkins Lab, one of which says ‘Dad,’ and one of which says ‘Vietnam,’ and one says ‘New York,'” at Hopper’s woodland cabin.
“So there are these three things that we’ve established in the season that if we don’t pay off, it means that they’re bad writers. And the Duffer brothers are very good writers. So I know specifically that in Season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory,” Harbor promised.
He went on to add that fans have “sort of sensed that in certain ways, but we haven’t really told you about [it].” He then spoke about what we’ve already learned about Hopper’s past, notably that he lost his young daughter Sara to cancer and that he’s a decorated vet of the Vietnam War.
“I’m so excited about revealing this aspect of the character,” Harbour continued. “It’s one of the things that I’ve known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven’t expressed it yet. And finally we’re gonna express it in a big way. It’s my favorite thing about him that you guys don’t know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and dad. And I’m really excited for you guys to know more about that, and it relates, of course, to things he’s doing with Eleven and Joyce and things like that.”
Harbour teased that he can’t wait for viewers to get to grips with this big revelation, whenever ST4 arrives.
“It’s a big reveal, and I’m really excited for you to see it. So whenever it comes out in 2050, when the next season comes out, you’ll get to see that.”
As with the rest of the TV industry, production on Stranger Things season 4 was suspended in March amidst the global pandemic, so Harbour’s 2050 joke hits a little closer to home than it did at the time. It’s believed the original plan was to release it next year though, so let’s hope they can roughly keep to that and it just gets shuffled later into 2021.
Source: Liverpool Comic-Con