At the age of 18 Jim Hopper joined the US Army and came in contact with Agent Orange, though he was told that the mix was a harmless herbicide to kill plants. After an period of time, Hopper and his co-workers tried to return to their normal lives and set up families only for their children to be still born or were born with deformities.
In April of 1971, Sarah was born to Jim and Diane Hopper, Sara was extremely gifted, loving to read, science, and galaxies. She was extremely close to her parents, especially her father, who would play with her and read to her often. One day while playing, however, Sara began to hyperventilate and Hopper attempted to help her calm down by slowly breathing with her. Soon she was diagnosed with cancer. As time wore on, Sara's hair began to fall out and began to permanently stay at the hospital, with her parents close by her side.
Though Jim tried to keep a brave face for his daughter by reading to her, he would sob in the stairwell knowing what would happen to her. By 1978, the cancer consumed Sara and caused her heart to stop. As doctors gathered around her and attempt to perform CPR, Diane and Jim were only left to watch in horror as Sara's heart monitor falls flat. Jim was left to comfort his sobbing wife as Sara passes away.
After Sara's death, Diane and Jim divorced, with Jim moving back to his hometown in Hawkins, Indiana, and became the town sheriff while Diane remarried and had another child.
|Season One appearances|
|The Upside Down*|
|Season Four appearances|
|The Nina Project*|
|Diane's second child|
Sara Hopper's only known family is Diane and Jim Hopper, though there is said to be an unknown grandfather and great grandfather on Hopper's side, no information is really known about this man. Sara has a step-father named Bill and a half-sibling, neither of which she ever met.
- Sara had a stuffed tiger toy in her bed at the hospital. Eleven and Will were also shown with stuffed toys, though they had lions. They used their lions for comfort after facing and when hiding from the monster.
- In Season 1, Hopper wears Sara's blue hair band on his wrist. By Season 2, Hopper has passed the hair band down to Eleven.
- Actor David Harbour (Jim Hopper) stated that the cause of Sara's death is a secret that might be explored, suggesting that cancer is not the full story.
- In season 4 it was Revealed that Jim believes the cancer was caused by his squadron mixing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, a substance which caused many other Veteran's children to be born with birth defects.
- In both the credits of "The Upside Down" and the final script for "The Vanishing of Will Byers" her name is spelled "Sara". During season two, at the cabin where Eleven stays, a box is revealed with Sara written on it. However, the episode captions read "Sarah", whilst the official soundtrack release also includes a song titled 'After Sarah'.
- Sara originally died in a car accident, according to the Montauk script. She died at age 4 and her name wasn’t written in the script.
- Sara shares similarities with members of the Party, as she was also born in 1971 (like all the members) and she had quite an interest in science and space.