Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is an ’80s reference extravaganza. Fans of the show have well documented the overt “Goonies” and “Aliens” nods throughout the series. But there are two “Predator” references in “Stranger Things” that seem to have slipped under most fans’ radar. Which is a shame, because they’re staring us right in the face!
The first requires a bit of knowledge of “Predator” lore. In the first film, Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads a team of soldiers on a rescue mission. While on this mission they encounter a group of skinned special force soldiers. Dutch identifies one of them saying that he knew the man. That man’s name was none other than Jim Hopper! Don’t believe me? Well, you don’t have to take my word for it; I’ve got video proof right here.
Fans of “Stranger Things” know Jim Hopper as the coffee-loving chief of police in the show. David Harbour, who you may remember from this year’s “Black Widow,” plays the fan-favorite character. Hopper has inhabited many different roles through each season. While he started as a skeptic, he became a father figure and love interest to various characters through its three seasons. Of course, it doesn’t seem like this is the same character Dutch knows in “Predator,” but it’s a nice little reference for 80s nuts.
Now I know what you’re thinking; “I didn’t remember that Schwarzenegger’s name in that movie was Dutch.” He’s not the only one in his team with an odd name! In fact, that’s where the next reference comes in. While Poncho Ramírez and Rick Sole might seem to hog the remaining odd name spotlight, it’s a very plain name that we’re interested in.
That name is Rick Hawkins. Rick is the bespectacled communications expert on the team. You may remember him as making those jokes that are so off-color I can’t repeat them on the site. But his last name, Hawkins, seems to have been repurposed by the “Stranger Things” creators to provide the name for the series’ main location. Hawkins is the fictional Indiana town where the titular odd happenings take place. Yet another reference from series creators the Duffer Brothers!
While on another show these names could just be a coincidence, these “Predator” references in “Stranger Things” seem at home. The series constantly nods to the many ’80s films that inspired it, so it’s highly likely that all of this is intentional.