The third season of Stranger Things is shaping up to be something special. Not only will it take place during the summer of 1985 – a stark departure from the cold, bitter Halloweens of past episodes – but the first few trailers and videos have already teased some interesting cultural references and connections. Gross age differences aside, the recent “poolside” clip heavily borrowed from a similar scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and some of the show’s creative staff have hinted this upcoming season will feature elements from Back to the Future – whether that means cosplay or actual time travel remains to be seen.
Interestingly, a new fan theory has surfaced which proposes a connection between Stranger Things and the Chernobyl incident. As reported by Comicbook.com, Reddit user Singular94 has suggested with the third block of episodes set in mid-1985, a potential fourth season should take place the following year, putting it in line with the nuclear disaster in the Ukrainian SSR, which occurred on April 26th, 1986.
Now, it’s worth noting the fan theory begins and ends with that single connection. However, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility the two will be connected. The Hawkins National Laboratory – which raised Eleven and was the home of the portal to the Upside Down – was a branch of the US Department of Energy. Not only that, but the series as a whole has been set against the backdrop of the Cold War, with the Americans attempting to spy on and outpace the Soviet Union. Should Russia try to replicate the supernatural events seen in Hawkins, it’s possible that their experiments could lead to the Chernobyl incident.
Of course, we’ll have to wait a while to see if this particular fan theory pans out. Until then, we can simply sit back and await the arrival of Stranger Things season 3, which hits Netflix on July 4th.