If it wasn’t for Sung Kang’s Han, then the Fast & Furious franchise’s timeline would have unfolded in a straightforward linear fashion. The fan favorite character was killed off in Tokyo Drift, but was brought back alongside the original quartet of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster for the fourth installment, which marked a radical departure for the former street racing series.
By the time Fast Five rolled around, the brand had shifted completely into action blockbuster territory, throwing Dwayne Johnson into the mix and watching the box office numbers rocket upwards. Now established as a key part of the team, Han was then killed off again in the credits scene of the sixth entry, which retconned his death to make Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw the culprit.
After playing the villain in Furious 7, Shaw was almost instantly welcomed into the fold by the gang, becoming a member of the team in The Fate of the Furious, before cementing his heroic status in spinoff Hobbs & Shaw. This gave birth to the #JusticeForHan movement, started by fans who felt that his death had been completely glossed over and poorly handled.
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However, because Fast & Furious always gives the fanbase what they want, Han will return from the dead in the upcoming F9, and in a new interview, Vin Diesel explained why it was so important for him to come back once again, and it won’t be a shock to discover that family is key.
“Han is an integral character in this franchise. If you remember, he’s kind of responsible for the away years of Dom Toretto. He’s the one doing jobs with him in Mexico, he’s the only one who knows where Dom is, and in many ways is the bridge for Dom when Dom comes back in Tokyo Drift. So there’s something very special and magical about the Han character. When you see the movie you’ll feel it, but I believe at the core it’s another testament to, not only don’t turn your back on family, but don’t give up on family. Without giving away the plot, that’s the theme, don’t give up on family.”
How they write his apparent resurrection into the story should be interesting, after Fast & Furious previously relied on the classic amnesia trope to explain why Letty had survived her own demise. However preposterous it turns out to be in the end, though, fans will just be glad to have him back.