Stranger Things 2: The Lost Sister episode was inspired by Star Wars

Credit: Stranger Things - Tina Rowden - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Tina Rowden - Netflix /

“Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister,” the seventh episode of Stranger Things 2, was inspired by Star Wars, according to the Duffer Brothers.

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The Duffer Brothers were inspired by one of the most popular film franchises of all time to make “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister” from Stranger Things 2.

According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, the “The Lost Sister” episode, Eleven’s independent journey and the new character Kali, played by Linnea Berthelsen, was inspired by Star Wars, specifically The Empire Strikes Back.

Here is Matt Duffer’s full quote on the subject, via EW:

"“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.”"

In the episode, Eleven learns she has a sister who also has powers and travels to Chicago to meet her. There, Eleven feels at home, but she realizes Kali and her friends are tracking down former Hawkins Lab employees and killing them. At first, Eleven feels enticed by this power. When it comes to actually pulling the trigger and ending a life, Eleven balks.

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Knowing the Duffer Brothers had Star Wars in mind and having seen the episode, it’s easy to make sense of what the Duffer Brothers mean. There are many similarities between Luke’s journey in The Empire Strikes Back and Eleven’s journey in this season. They’re very alone, with Luke as the only Jedi left, basically, and Eleven as the only one in Hawkins with superpowers. It’s easy to see why Eleven wants to meet and know someone like her.

In a sense, Eleven had to be presented with another path in order to realize where she belongs. Had she not had this opportunity or something similar, I don’t think it would have felt authentic for her to just show up and save the day again.

In the same way, Luke had to go off on his own in The Empire Strikes Back to learn about himself. In this genre, the hero has to have a journey, and it’s only more interesting when that hero is given another option. In the cases of Luke and Eleven, they are each presented with a much darker option.

While this episode has been the subject of debate, I didn’t have a problem with this episode at all. In fact, I thought it was a great way to slow things down and focus on Eleven’s journey. To complete her journey, Eleven needed to find some sense of belonging to move forward in this world and find her home to her friends and family.

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This wasn’t the only Star Wars connection to this episode, though. According to the report, Berthelsen, who plays Kali, used the Star Wars films to prepare for her role. She thought her character and Eleven had a very Anakin and Luke-esque relationship, and I think that’s a great comparison.

I don’t know if Darth Vader ever truly feels like what he is doing is wrong, and I don’t know if Kali realizes that either. She, like Anakin, are simply using their tools, the only things they have, and offering them to help Eleven and Luke, respectively.

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Putting this in perspective, I think it’s further proof “The Lost Sister” is a good and necessary episode in this series. Could it have come at a different time in the series? Possibly, but it’s bound to introduce Eleven to new possibilities. Just because Luke turns down Anakin (Darth Vader), it doesn’t mean Anakin stopped trying to sway him to the Dark Side. I think something similar is in store for Eleven moving forward.

Remember, based on that last scene of Stranger Things 2, this story is far from over.