2021 marks the 20th year since the creation of the Fast and Furious film series, and what a massive evolution they’ve had over time. The first movie followed a team of simple street racers and their attempts to rob truckers for their shipments of Panasonic DVD Players in souped-up Honda Civics. Since then, they’ve traveled the world stopping cyber terrorists and capturing weapons of mass destruction in vehicles like Bugattis and Lamborghinis. Throughout the eight total films, the team, or ‘the family’ as lead character Dom Toretto likes to call them, has seriously grown in size. But as their crew adopted more drivers into their mix to help them out on their high stakes missions, the number of villains grew as well. So as more and more of these characters are introduced into the story, a slough of plot questions arises. Now as we enter the ninth installment of the Fast saga, I feel like the movie has a lot of ground to cover when it comes to resolving fractured storylines within the past films in the franchise. So here’s a list of burning questions that superfans like myself need to have answered in F9.
How is Han Alive?
As I watched the first trailer for the film, my jaw proceeded to drop to the floor when all of a sudden, fan-favorite character Han Lue made his return to the screen. Last we’d heard from him, Han had been aggressively T-Boned by the villain later turned hero, Deckard Shaw, who went on to blow up his mangled vehicle as Lue sat there injured and upside down in the driver’s seat. As his untimely death occurred at the end of Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, the events of Furious 7 closely followed Lue’s friends organizing a funeral for him and even going as far as attempting to catch his killer. So how is it possible that he survived that heinous crash? And what has he been doing the past couple of movies?
It’s unlikely but possible that Han crawled out of his mutilated vehicle before the explosion occurred, then took time to heal from his injuries, before ultimately agreeing to drive with Dom and the team again. But this doesn’t explain why they mourned his death and held a service to commemorate his life when a deceased body must have been evident at the scene of the incident. Had he fallen into a coma? Was he announced dead for some time? Or were they potentially covering something up?
Another interesting theory surrounding Han’s temporary passing is that the crash was all a setup. What if Deckard Shaw was hired to ‘take out’ Han, but not actually kill him. Maybe Han had set up this intricate scene to fake his death so he could cut ties with Takashi and the Yakuza? Maybe he informed Sean Boswell of his plan to get away so he can do who knows what? So when Dom made a cameo at the end of Tokyo Drift, Sean let him in on Han’s plan to disappear and told him to really ‘sell’ the fact that he was dead. This would ultimately explain why Torreto seemingly knew that Han was alive during the trailer for F9. That still doesn’t explain the prominent bad blood that Shaw and Toretto still seemed to have with one another throughout all of Furious 7 and even into Fate of the Furious.
In all honesty, this is a very complex storyline that can very easily open up even more plot holes in the Fast saga. But given that director Justin Lin is making his return to the series, I have faith that he’ll be able to piece together Han’s return in a sensible yet action-packed way.
How Will They Approach Brian’s Character?
Jordana Brewster, who portrayed Dom’s sister, Mia Toretto, has made her return in the trailer and fans are elated. Mia’s character played a pivotal role in many of the prior installments. But, in Furious 7 and Fate of the Furious the team made it clear that Mia and her husband Brian, portrayed by the late Paul Walker, were retired from being drivers on Dom’s high-risk team. This plot point was created because of cast member Paul Walker’s untimely death during the filming of the seventh movie in the series. They decided to address this real-life tragedy in the story by having Brian and Mia’s characters complete their final mission with the team and depart to become full-time parents to their two children, Jack and Gisele. So now that we know Mia is back to ride alongside her brother, and the rest of their racing family, what will they say about Brian’s whereabouts?
It seemed like a satisfactory storyline to simply say that both Brian and Mia’s characters could no longer risk their lives on these high stakes missions because they have children they need to care for, full time. But now that the team is dealing with the issue regarding the sudden appearance of Dom’s (and seemingly also Mia’s) brother, Jakob, it makes sense why Mia would return to deal with her family drama. But what will they say regarding Brian’s assumed absence in this film? Will he just be babysitting the children while his wife goes off to settle her family disputes? Or will the writers not even mention his nonattendance in the story?
What Happened to Hobbs & Shaw?
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson debuted in the franchise during ‘Fast Five’ as a powerhouse D.S.S. Agent named Luke Hobbs, who was determined to take down Dom and his crew. But throughout the next few movies, he sided with Team Toretto, going so far as offering his family full pardons if they were to help him catch a dangerous criminal by the name of Owen Shaw. After that mission went successfully, they ended up waking the dragon in Deckard Shaw, portrayed by Jason Statham, who’s a former MI6 Agent, and Owen’s vengeful brother. But, fast forward to The Fate of the Furious, where Deckard ends up working alongside Hobbs and the team to take down a rogue Dom Toretto. It was here where the characters of Hobbs and Shaw proved they had serious chemistry in the Fast Films, so much so that when news broke of there being drama behind the scenes between cast members Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, it only made sense to write The Rock and Statham their own spin-off. And so in the summer of 2019, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was released in theaters.
I thought the movie itself was a fresh take for the series, the film decided to focus more on the action and less on cars overall. But people did speculate that the arrival of the spin-off would mean that Deckard and Luke’s characters would be written out of the main franchise. And as of right now, I believe that’s true. Fast 9 has not credited either actor as being a part of the cast for this movie, so does that mean The Fate of the Furious was the last main film in the franchise we’ll see them in? If that’s the case, then how will they approach their absence in the upcoming movie?
I would really like for the story to brush over why Hobbs and Shaw aren’t there to help out the team like they normally do. Will their disappearance be due to the fact that the events of F9 actually occur at the same time as Hobbs & Shaw’? And how will the reemergence of Han’s character affect the storyline, since it was Deckard Shaw who was originally responsible for his then death? Also, will we ever get to see these two characters in future installments in the main films? Hobbs & Shaw are two kickass characters who will certainly be missed in the new movie, but let’s just hope their departure doesn’t lead to more plot holes in the story.
Why Have We Never Heard About Dom’s Brother?
Apart from Han Lue’s return, the other enormous shock in the trailer was the appearance of Dom Toretto’s blood brother, Jakob! That’s right, arguably cinema’s biggest family man apparently neglected to mention the fact that he has a younger brother! By the way, If you were on the verge of passing out from excitement when news broke about this development in the story, I’m right there with you. I truly don’t believe anyone saw this plot twist coming. Who would have guessed that through eight movies, there had been no mention from Mia or Dom (or Letty, apparently) of there being another high performance driving Toretto? I honestly think we have to take a minute to acknowledge the writers of the film for finding an interesting plot line that will create another villain to fuel the story and create a believable excuse to bring Mia Toretto’s character back into the mix.
But seriously, this is a huge turn of events in the series that’s going to lead to many more questions in the story. Are there other Toretto siblings we don’t know about? What about Dom, Mia, and Jakob’s mother? As far as I know there has been no mention of her in the story, while on the other hand, we were informed that their father was killed in a racing accident before the events of the first movie. I’d also like to know what the bad blood is between the brothers? Was there something else that happened in their lives that ignited their intense hatred for one another that isn’t related to Jakob’s jealousy of Dom? And last but not least, how did Cipher get in contact with Jakob? Or even discover that he exists?
I really look forward to watching how this pans out on the screen. Will Jakob actually have the guts to kill Dom if he gets the chance? Or will they squash the long lasting beef? I’m hoping they’re able to bury the hatchet, and induct Jakob as a new member of their team. I’m sure his impressive skill set will be an asset to their family on future missions, and I bet he’ll be even more thrilled to learn that he’ll be an uncle to Dom’s son, Brian, and Mia’s children, Jack and Gisele.
Where Did Mr. Nobody and Little Nobody Go?
Kurt Russell and Scott Eastwood are another two actors whose names were missing from F9’s cast list, and fans are a little confused. With four pretty big characters not making an appearance in this upcoming film, I sadly have to admit we have reason to be a little concerned as to how well the movie will flow without them. As previously mentioned, Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, two of the main team members from the last movie, will not pop up in F9. Now, we know for sure that Scott Eastwoods ‘Little Nobody’ character, who also served as a main team member won’t star in the upcoming film either. Along with Kurt Russells ‘Mr. Nobody’ character, who previously performed in a managerial role for the team. But without them in the film, who is going to supply the team with ultra fast cars, and technology to help subdue their enemies?
My guess is that Cipher and Jakob Toretto seek out Dom and his team, and essentially begin to be hunted down by them. Maybe because of how personal the feud is with both Jakob and Cipher, that Dom would prefer to keep what happens off the record. For instance, what if Dom and his team start to kill people? Surely Mr. Nobody can’t let that slide, being a government employee and all. But that doesn’t explain the fact that Cipher is still a wanted cyberterrorist who definitely obtained nuclear weapons with intentions to use them against her enemies! I really can’t come to a logical conclusion as to why these two characters will not be present in the story, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the movie!
What Role Will Sean, Twinkie, and Earl’s Characters Play in the Film?
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was a bit of a mystery at the time of it’s 2006 release. It featured a whole cast of characters we’d never seen before, in a whole different country, with a totally different approach to racing. Nonetheless, it’s now proved to be a greatly important installment in the series because it featured what we thought was the death of beloved racer, Han Lue. Now with the characters sudden reappearance into the saga, he’s brought along his fellow main and supporting characters with him to help out Dom’s crew! Sean Boswell, Twinkie, and Earl were seen clinking their Corona’s together in celebration in what looked to be Mia’s backyard during one of the scenes in the trailer. And while I’m more than thrilled to learn of their return to the story, I’m unclear as to what their jobs will be in the movie?
One hint we’re given in the second trailer is Earl and Sean’s involvement in the creation of what looks to be a Rocket Car. While it may just be a Pontiac Fiero with a ginormous engine strapped to its rear, this still proves that their mechanical and technological skills are being put to good use to overall benefit Dom and his team. There wasn’t any footage depicting what Twinkie was up to but I’m sure his fast talking attitude and business skills will come in handy. Other than those couple of clips, we don’t have a defined answer as to what those three will be up to. I surely hope they get the chance to drive alongside Dom and his team, especially knowing that Sean has proved his racing talents in becoming the Drift King back in Tokyo. Speaking of, I wonder if we’ll ever learn who won that race at the end of Tokyo Drift, Dom or Sean? But like I stated earlier, I’m just glad to see the Fast Franchise recycle more of their great characters from previous movies, and I’m eager to see what they’ll bring to the team.
These six questions target some pretty major plot points in the story, and while I hope they get answered in this upcoming movie, I still know that F9 is going to be awesome. Every movie in it’s expansive series has brought the heat when it comes to memorable races, iconic one liners, or outer worldly action scenes. I am so excited to get back into theaters on June 25th to watch the next edition of one of my favorite film franchises of all time. I’m even more thrilled to find out what will happen next in the saga because it’s now been confirmed that Justin Lin has signed on to direct a tenth and eleventh installment in the Fast and Furious series. So thankfully we can expect a lot more gear shifting and fight scenes in the near future with our favorite on screen family. Now, the question is ‘Are people excited for this movie right now?’ Do they have questions of their own that they want answered? Are fans thinking ‘are they really going to space? Why is Magdalene Shaw’s character still relevant in the story? Will Cipher survive?’ So we’ll have to see if people are willing to go back into the cinemas to watch F9, or if COVID-19 concerns keep them at home? The movie industry has certainly changed in these past 14 months due to the pandemic. But hopefully it will be none other than the Fast Saga that safely brings families back together, with popcorn in their hands, into the movie theaters!
[Image Credits: The Fast Saga, IMDB]