'Stranger Things 3' Trailer Breakdown: It's Time To Fight Back

Netflix released a new trailer for Stranger Things 3 last night, so it's time to head back to Hawkins and take a closer look. While the show has so far been heavily inspired by pop culture properties of the '80s, it seems as if creators/showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer are taking a metaphorical step into the next decade with this season by referencing several pop culture touchstones of the 1990s, including Jurassic Park and The Rock. Dive in with us below.

Stranger Things Mike Will Max Lucas

Stranger Things Eleven

The first new shot of any consequence shows Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Will (Noah Schnapp), and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) intently focused on Eleven/Jane (Millie Bobbie Brown), whose familiar nosebleed means she's using her sensory depravation/ESP abilities to look for someone – or something. Based on what comes later in this trailer, I wouldn't be surprised if she's doing a recon mission to try to find the Mind Flayer/Shadow Monster's new host.

Stranger Things Eleven red

Stranger Things cyclone

Welcome back to the Upside Down, population: Eleven. This industrial farm/plant building Eleven finds herself in front of, Brimborn Steelworks, is a new location. "You let us in," Max's brother Billy says in a creepy voiceover, "and now you're going to have to let us stay." (Things don't go well for Billy in this trailer.)

Stranger Things Will

Will, who's spent the past two seasons either trapped in the Upside Down or being inhabited by the Shadow Monster, can't even go to a movie in peace without his Spider-Sense going off. Even though Will seems like he won't be tortured as much this season, it seems clear that all of his time spent as a host has given him an extra connection to the Monster.

Eleven knows she closed the inter-dimensional gate at the end of last season, but Will knows something's wrong. "What if he never left? What if we locked him out here with us?" he asks her. (Notice how Eleven refers to the Shadow Monster as "it," while Will refers to the creature as "him"? There's that personal connection popping up.)

Stranger Things rats

Stranger Things Billy

Rats scurry into the steel mill, implying that the Shadow Monster has been living in our world by spreading his consciousness across dozens of rodents. "He'd want to attach himself to someone again...a new host," Will says, and yep, ol' Billy (Dacre Montgomery) is the unlucky new target. (What is he doing standing around by himself at a seemingly abandoned steel mill, though?)

Stranger Things electricity

It's electric! Here's a very Ghostbusters-looking shot of a team of scientists (?) walking right up to what looks like a pretty intense machine on the fritz, spewing spinning waves of energy outward. (The previous trailer reveals this situation doesn't end well for these characters.)

Stranger Things Eleven beach

"It's building something," Eleven says, as she sees supernatural red lightning flashing on the beach. Notice she's rockin' the same yellow-and-black shirt she was wearing in the beginning of the trailer, so if it wasn't clear, this isn't a literal summer vacation to the beach for her – this is all in her mind.

Stranger Things crouch

Stranger Things mercenary

Despite standing in front of a police vehicle (is that Hopper's?), this new guy – who might as well be Robert Patrick's stunt double – is not a cop. He's tracking something. Is he hunting Eleven? Is he a hitman tasked to clean up loose ends in the government experiment she was involved with? The previous trailer showed him with a silenced gun wandering through the hall of mirrors at the fair. And what is he picking up? Bullet casings? If that vehicle is Hopper's, was he trying to fix it and have to shoot his way out of a scenario that turned dangerous and make a run for it?

Stranger Things Jonathan Nancy Lucas Mike

After a quick montage of Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) grabbing that ax, Nancy (Natalia Dyer) cocking a shotgun, and Lucas stretching his slingshot, they all circle up to await an impending threat. "No matter what happens, we have to stop him," Mike says. So are they talking about the Shadow Monster, or the hitman? Maybe the latter, because it makes sense that Mike would want to protect Eleven – that's what he's been trying to do for the entire run of the show so far, to varying degrees of success.

Stranger Things Eleven Will Mike Lucas

Stranger Things Hopper Joyce Murray

"And now, it's time," Billy's voiceover says as the Shadow Monster steps out of the darkness toward him. "We're going to end you. We're going to end your friends. Then, we are going to end everyone." And there's a good look at Joyce (Winona Ryder), Hopper (David Harbour), and the town's resident conspiracy theorist Murray (Brett Gelman).

This version of the monster has priorities! I wonder if that personal nature of these threats (and the specific order of them) shows that Billy has more control as a host than Will ever did. Maybe the Shadow Monster is tapping into Billy's evil tendencies, and it's cool with taking out Billy's enemies first as long as it ultimately gets what it wants.

Stranger Things Max Eleven Mike

Here's where the '90s influences really start to show themselves. This shot of Max, Eleven, and Mike hiding at the end of a counter is straight out of the "raptors in the kitchen" scene in Jurassic Park.

Stranger Things Eleven

"I can fight," Eleven says to Hopper. "Better than any of us," Hopper replies, "but I need you safe." Seems like their father/daughter relationship has improved from its fraught beginnings, but Hopper hasn't given her complete freedom just yet.

Stranger Things Steve Dustin

Here's everyone's favorite bromance partnership, Steve (Joe Keery) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), in the trailer's second huge '90s reference. We're not sure exactly what's in that device, but the green coloration and the tube structure of it recalls imagery from Michael Bay's prison action film The Rock. In that movie, the green stuff was a toxic gas that could wipe out an entire city, so hopefully Steve and Dustin are dealing with something slightly less dangerous.

Stranger Things lab

Here's a better look at that machine from earlier, which reminds me of the Honey I Shrunk the Kids shrink ray. Are they trying to reopen the gate that Eleven closed last year?

Stranger Things Hopper mercenary

Get him, Hopper! (He's brawling with the hitman/mercenary guy from earlier.)

Stranger Things Nancy

Nancy comes face to face with the new and improved Demogorgon, looking uglier and slimier and more Xenomorphic than ever.

Stranger Things Dustin

"Holy mother of God," Dustin says, and several shots of our heroes looking up in fear/awe at something and then the power abruptly going out spells a supernatural conflict at the Starcourt Mall. (Is this going to be the season where the Duffer Brothers condemn capitalism by building and then destroying a mall in this small Midwestern town?)

Stranger Things Lucas Nancy Jonathan Will

Stranger Things Eleven Mike Max

Stranger Things monster hand

And as Dustin screams a "code red" warning over the walkie-talkie, the trailer wraps up with more Jurassic Park vibes as characters hide from the creature, whose roar at the very end even seems similar to the dino sounds from Spielberg's 1993 classic.

Stranger Things 3 hits Netflix on July 4, 2019.