The official Stranger Things season 4 trailer uses a song by the classic rock band Journey, and here’s what it means for the story and characters.
The Stranger Things season 4 trailer plays a Journey song that carries a deeper meaning for the upcoming penultimate season. Releasing almost three years after season 3, Stranger Things season 4 picks up six months from where the previous story left off — with the defeat of the Shadow Monster and Billy Hargrove’s death during the Battle of Starcourt, as well as the seeming demise of Jim Hopper — and sees the core cast split into three groups across the United States and the world.
In Russia, there’s Hopper, who survived the explosion underneath Starcourt mall and is now a prisoner, and Joyce, who appears to be attempting to rescue him — and they’ll be joined by an as-of-yet unconfirmed character. Then in California, Mike Wheeler and the Byers family, along with a local named Argyle, get mixed up in season 4’s story with the Upside Down. And of course, back in Hawkins, there’s Eleven (traveling from the west coast), who returns to Hawkins Lab once again. Presumably everyone else, such as Dustin and Nancy, join the fun at Hawkins as well, as they investigate the Creel House.
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The Stranger Things season 4 trailer plays the Journey song “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” a classic rock song from 1983 that, on one hand, thematically exemplifies the growing pains experienced by several characters in season 4 but, on the other hand, reminds viewers that this is still a story about two literal worlds — the regular world and the Upside Down, and the closer the two seem to be clashing together. A war is brewing, after all, as Dr. Sam Owens indicates to Eleven.
To the first point, Jonathan and Nancy, Mike and Eleven, and Joyce and Hopper are all lovers separated by vast distances, with each experiencing their own form of heartbreak. For Joyce and Eleven, they believe Hopper is dead; Mike desperately wants to see Eleven but can only do so after six months; and Jonathan and Nancy grew closer towards the end of season 3 only to be driven apart by the Byers’ move to California. Even Will is separated from his closest friends in Hawkins. Then there’s the Upside Down. It wouldn’t be a new season of Stranger Things if a rift to the Upside Down didn’t open back up in Hawkins — or elsewhere, for that matter. So much of the series revolves around the alternate dimension that audiences are finally starting to see that wall holding it back start to crumble.
Another interesting point to “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) playing in the Stranger Things season 4 trailer is the background of the Journey song. It was originally written and performed (before being recorded) by Journey when they were on tour and some of the band members were going through difficult divorces, as well as other troubling times. The camaraderie exhibited in the song’s creation, not to mention its themes of acceptance, composure, and recognition of the past and future, help drive home its true meaning, that the future is uncertain yet the journey was worth it all along.
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Mansoor Mithaiwala is Screen Rant’s TV Lead Editor. He originally joined the site as a freelance writer on the Lists team before moving over to News and Features, eventually becoming an editor in 2018. Over time he’s done quite a few different things, including helping launch gaming on the site, often handling news, features, and guides simultaneously. Now he sticks primarily to movies and TV, and spends way too much time looking at analytics. It sure seems like he’s put his Political Science degree to good use, huh?
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