'Stranger Things' Season 3: Fan theory on teaser trailer suggests Starcourt Mall could be a trap for Eleven

A fan theory speculates that the Starcourt Mall in Stranger Things Season 3's teaser trailer is a trap by the CIA to catch Eleven, even as it reflects the youth culture of the 80s


                            'Stranger Things' Season 3: Fan theory on teaser trailer suggests Starcourt Mall could be a trap for Eleven

Lately, nothing seems to be more bizarre than the official teaser trailer of 'Stranger Things' Season 3. The pop culture throwback show, which garnered a huge cult following in its two seasons helmed by The Duffer Brothers, seems to be entering the phase where its characters are now young adults. Soon, they will be of the age where they stumble through various chapters of non-conformity.

However, instead of giving us a glimpse of the characters, the sneak peek actually teases us with what seems like nothing but a commercial to promote Starcourt Mall. 

Fortunately, some fans have come up with their own theories about the significance of the mall. One Reddit user who goes by the name jimbo805 has stated that the mall is basically a trap to catch Eleven. In the post, the user mentions that since Dr. Brenner's lab is already destroyed (thanks to the many adventures of the Demogorgon), it is important that he reorganizes his lab. However, even more important is to bring back the weapon that he had created at the DOE Hawkins Lab - a little girl with the ability of telekinesis. The user writes, "It’s from Starcourt Mall that Brenner’s masters conduct their hunt for their wayward asset. They want to find and capture her so they can utilize her as the weapon they want her to be."

Eleven was the perfect weapon for Dr. Brenner (IMDb)
Eleven was the perfect weapon for Dr. Brenner (IMDb)

On the other hand, the CIA, who have been on the lookout for Eleven are already aware that the girl was hiding at Mike's place. However, when in Season 2 she was shifted to live with Jim Hopper, the CIA realized that all they required was a trap.

The user notes, "A trap for an adolescent girl. Where better to monitor all adolescent activity than at the local mall. The government baddies, aka the CIA, needed a new cover operation." While all the theories could be substantial enough to stand their own grounds in the argument, the teaser is actually a lot more than just an indication of a trap. It represents an entire generation. 

While talking about the Starcourt Mall, David Harbour (Jim Hopper) told Variety, "Clearly, he’s a dude who’s stuck in the late ’70s and he’s an old-school guy, so I don’t think he likes to see the world change. But there are certain things you need to get in Hawkins that you can’t get at Melvald’s General Store.” The 80's were the time when teenagers were shaking off the shackles of conformity and getting into an era chiefly dominated by music genres like grunge rock and garage punk. The teenagers of this decade were very different from the previous, and it is in Season 3 that the main characters of 'Stranger Things' will enter into their important years of teenhood, and with that all of its culture.

When Eleven shifted in with Hopper, the CIA needed a new trap (IMDb)
When Eleven shifted in with Hopper, the CIA needed a new trap (IMDb)

The 80's were the times when America bustled with Victor Gruen's vision. The Austrian-born architect, who had escaped to the United States when the Nazis took over Austria in 1938, had envisioned his earliest creations (such as the first outdoor suburban shopping plaza in Detroit in 1954 and the Southdale Centre, America's first enclosed shopping mall, in 1954) to be places where the urban population would mingle and create a culture of conversation and communication.

However, over the span of 60 years, America saw a boom in the establishment of around 1,500 malls and Victor's very idea almost faded away. 

Yet it was in the 80's that this very concept of socializing by gathering in a closed place seemed to pick up the pace once again. What is interesting is that 'Stranger Things' Season 3, which will be based on the 1985 movie 'Fletch', will see its characters in the center of the 80's.

As the teaser already advertises the mall culture, we also get a glimpse of Steve selling ice creams at Scoops Ahoy. This one shot is enough to indicate that the characters whom we would either see at the arcade or at the school will now be seen hanging out more at the mall. There are also certain interesting shots that indicate the mall to be the epicenter of the battle between Eleven and the demons of Upside-Down. 

The mall could serve as Eleven's station to migrate to the other world (IMDb)
The mall could serve as Eleven's station to migrate to the other world (IMDb)

In Season 1, the climax revolved around Mike and his friends arranging a circular pool for Eleven and filling it up with salt water so that she could transport herself to the other dimension. As waterbodies have always played a significant factor in inter-dimensional transportation, we get an aerial view of a fountain pool in the mall.

While the shot is taken exactly the same way as the pool, we can only speculate that this might be Eleven's portal in Season 3. Also, enclosed spaces have served as portals for demons to emerge, and malls are usually enclosed spaces with glasses all around. What could be a better gate for the demons than that! 

Watch the teaser below: 

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