'Stranger Things 2' Episode 7 Was Inspired By 'Star Wars'

Since its debut, Stranger Things has worn its influences on its sleeve, never shying away from paying its respects to the stories and filmmakers that paved the way for the series' blend of horror, sci-fi and adventure. In the show's recent season, the creators revealed that one specific episode was almost entirely an homage to The Empire Strikes Back and Luke Skywalker.

***WARNING: Spoilers for Season 2 of Stranger Things below***

Following the events of the first season, the second season of Stranger Things finds Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) living in isolation with Hopper (David Harbour) as to avoid unwanted attention from nefarious scientific organizations. Seeking more out of life, Eleven tracks down her birth mom and travels to Chicago to reunite with her "sister" Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has similar powers to Eleven. Kali helps Eleven unlock her full telekinetic potential, allowing Eleven to return to Hawkins, IN to reunite with her friends and save the day with her abilities.

Eleven's journey in this episode was inspired by Luke's journey to Dagobah in Empire Strikes Back.

“We talked a lot about Empire Strikes Back,” series co-creator Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “We talked about Luke going to Dagobah and meeting Yoda. Also, the idea of a dark Eleven, of Eleven being pulled to the dark side was an interesting idea. So a lot of that episode was what happens if Eleven is drawn towards this darkness and what can she learn about herself if that’s the case.”

Whereas Eleven uses her abilities to help her friends, Kali used her abilities to seek revenge against those who had wronged her, encouraging Eleven to tap into that anger to unlock her strength.

Berthelesen reportedly drew those parallels for the characters long before the Duffer brothers ever tipped her off to it.

“I took everything from Luke and from the relationship with Anakin,” Berthelesen recalled. “The reason why Kali is so angry is also because of love. She wants to believe in another human being. Something really went wrong and people let her down. She’s trying what she believes is the best way to support Eleven. Maybe it’s not the right way to do it but it’s coming from a good place. And I think that’s the same thing with Darth Vader — he believes it’s the right thing and he’s doing everything for the love of his mother.”

The series takes place in the early '80s, so the narrative has already featured multiple nods to the galaxy far, far away, but this is one of the biggest instances where the overall narrative drew direct inspiration from the saga.


The second season of Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.

[H/T Entertainment Weekly]