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Duffer Brothers to Digitally Fix ‘Stranger Things’ Birthday Error by ‘George Lucas-ing the Situation’

The showrunners revealed that they have digitally altered past episodes, including some from the first half of Season 4, without telling fans.

STRANGER THINGS 4 Season 4 Millie Bobby Brown Netflix

Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp in “Stranger Things”

Courtesy of Netflix

Whenever a highly anticipated film or TV season comes out, it inevitably gets scrutinized by fans, and errors that may have otherwise gone unnoticed rise to the surface. Such was the case when “Stranger Things” dropped its first batch of episodes last month.

In one episode, fans noticed that a calendar showed the date was March 22. But in Season 2, Joyce (Winona Ryder) mentions that March 22 is her son Will’s birthday. Nobody acknowledges or celebrates Will’s birthday in Season 4, but it would be out of character for his mother and all of his friends to completely forget Will’s birthday. The Duffer Brothers quickly apologized for the continuity error, and in a new interview with Variety, they spoke about their plans to rectify the situation.

“It’s too sad!” Matt Duffer said in an interview. “And it doesn’t make any narrative sense. But we were talking about it yesterday, and I think we’re going to George Lucas that.”

By invoking George Lucas, Duffer was referring to the “Star Wars” creator’s frequent practice of altering his own movies years after they were released, often to make what he saw as improvements to the special effects. The practice famously aggravated fans of his films, who saw Lucas as messing with something they held sacred and then keeping fans from purchasing the original versions that they preferred.

Matt Duffer said that in the original episode, they could change the audio to make Will’s birthday May 22 “because ‘May’ can fit in Winona’s mouth.” He added that it would not be the first time they changed something after releasing it. “We have George Lucas’d things also that people don’t know about,” he said.

When asked to elaborate, Ross Duffer said that, like Lucas, their changes were primarily to improve visual effects. In fact, the brothers have “George Lucas’d” as recently as this month, when they changed certain shots in “Stranger Things 4” after the first batch of episodes were released on Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s not, like, story, but you’re essentially patching in shots,” he said. “Netflix is — I don’t think they’ve ever allowed people to patch on opening week and even weekend. And we said, ‘Well, why not?’ And he said, ‘Well, it makes us nervous.’ And we’re like, ‘Well, maybe we try it this time.’ And it turned out fine.”

Volume 1 of “Stranger Things 4” is currently streaming on Netflix, with the final two episodes set to drop on Friday, July 1.

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