Sung Kang’s Han Lue is unique within the Fast & Furious family, in that he’s the only character who didn’t originate in the franchise itself. Indeed, both the actor and series veteran Justin Lin confirmed a long time ago that Han is the same person who first appeared in the duo’s 2002 crime thriller Better Luck Tomorrow, which was Lin’s solo directorial debut.
Since then, Han has gone on to become an integral part of the crew, despite being killed off twice. He first met his demise in Tokyo Drift, but the shifting of the timeline meant he was invited back for parts four, five and six, only to die once more. This time, though, Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw was revealed to be the culprit. And after Shaw was welcomed into the gang with open arms just one movie later, the #JusticeForHan movement began, culminating in his return from beyond the grave in the upcoming ninth installment.
We’re not expecting it to make a great deal of sense, especially when Letty’s absence was explained away via an amnesia subplot, but a new theory puts forward a reasonable and incredibly simple explanation nonetheless. The Fast & Furious blockbusters take place in a heightened reality where cars don’t obey the logic of physics or gravity, and Shaw never actually checked if Han’s pulse had stopped, so the theory says he could have just used a gadget to cut through the chassis of his vehicle and escape to safety.
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As ScreenRant explains:
The best way to explain Han’s return is for him to pull a page from Nick Fury’s book, as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier; the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director also found himself in a car crash but before the Winter Soldier was able to get to his totaled car, he used a small but powerful igniter to cut through the vehicle’s roof and escaped through the sewers. Han was in the same position in Tokyo Drift, with Deckard not really checking if Han was dead following the crash. Granted that the car blew up shortly after the accident, Han could have a similar gadget in the vehicle for emergency purposes that allowed him to escape just in time. Aside from not over-complicating things, taking this route will also highlight Han’s ingenuity in a pressure-packed situation, making him more useful in the upcoming the Fast Saga films as they take on more and more over-the-top stunts.
If anything, that feels a little too straightforward for something as preposterous as a Fast & Furious sequel, but in any case, there are just over two months to go until we find out how Han has managed to not only survive, but become a dab hand with a sniper rifle as well.