With Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw giving his killer a comedic spinoff, it's essential the franchise eventually delivers some overdue #JusticeForHan. For a series all about driving, it’s certainly doesn’t seem like the Fast & Furious had any kind of roadmap for how it would progress. The series began with 2001’s The Fast And The Furious, a Point Break-style riff on street car racing. The movie was never in any danger of winning awards, but the glossy action combined with the movie star charisma of up and coming stars like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez turned it into a surprise hit.
Diesel opted out of 2 Fast 2 Furious to pursue a new franchise with xXx, leaving Paul Walker to take over with help from Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce. It appeared the franchise reached the end of the road with The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, which featured an all-new cast of characters. The story followed a teenager named Sean Boswell as he moves to Tokyo and gets involved with drift street racing. Tokyo Drift also introduced Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kung) who mentors Boswell and generally steals the movie.
While The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift is the lowest grossing of the series, it accidentally saved it by including a cameo by Vin Diesel as Dom in the final scene. Diesel wanted the rights to the Riddick franchise, so he agreed to the brief scene in exchange for them. This made fans believe he was coming back for the next movie, so producers set about reuniting the original cast for 2009’s Fast & Furious, which also brought back Kung as Han. The movie grossed twice as much as part three, and Fast Five would find the series switch from street racing to a full-on heist movie. Part five would permanently transform the series, and the next three movies would be hugely successful blockbusters.
Hobbs & Shaw acts as the first spinoff from the main series, reuniting Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs with Jason Statham’s anti-hero Shaw. The transformation of Shaw into a heroic character is proving controversial to fans, however, who are still demanding proper justice for his cold-blooded murder of Han.
- This Page: Justice For Han (And How Hobbs & Shaw Complicates It)
- Page 2: How Fast & Furious Can Solve Justice For Han
Justice For Han Explained
The timeline of #JusticeForHan is a little tricky to explain for newcomers. Han was killed in what appeared to be an accident in 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but the character was so well liked he was brought back for 2009's Fast & Furious - establishing the fourth movie as a prequel to the third. 2011's Fast Five and 2013's Fast & Furious 6 would continue this trend, only for a post-credit scene in the latter movie to catch up with Han’s Tokyo Drift death. A major retcon reveals Han was actually murdered by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as retaliation for the Fast Family putting his brother Owen – the villain of Fast 6 – in a coma. This scene set the stage for Shaw coming after all of Dom’s gang in Furious 7.
Shaw certainly gives the crew a tough challenge in Furious 7 but he’s eventually caught and placed in prison by the end of the movie. This is where things get messy for fans. For reasons too convoluted to explain, the team is forced to work together with Shaw in The Fate Of The Furious. Despite their natural mistrust of Shaw, he ends up becoming a valuable member and even bonds with gruff federal agent Hobbs; he and brother Owen eventually save Dom's baby from villain Cipher.
The final scene shows the gang all gathered on a roof, with Deckard seemingly being embraced as an honorary member. The fact he caused the death of Han in the previous movie is seemingly forgotten, with saving Dom’s child making up for this little misdeed. This is where #JusticeForHan began, with fans of the character and series being taken aback by the way Han’s death was being swept under the rug.
Hobbs & Shaw Makes Justice For Han Worse
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham had strong chemistry in The Fate Of The Furious, so it was decided the long-mooted Hobbs solo adventure would pair them up. The first trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw presents it as a frothy, Tango & Cash-style buddy comedy with all of the familiar car chases and action found in the main series. It also pits the duo against a literally superhuman villain named Brixton (Idris Elba) - a reveal that edges the series ever closer to becoming a superhero franchise.
The trailer also caused fans to renew their cries of #JusticeForHan because at this point it feels like the series would rather not address it. Deckard Shaw’s popularity with audiences – and Statham’s likeability even when playing a villain – clearly took producers by surprise, so they pushed him toward becoming an anti-hero instead. Shaw received some measure of redemption for his actions in Fate of the Furious, but while Hobbs wasn’t exactly best buddies with Han, it felt odd he and the rest of Dom’s crew appeared willing to let it go. Now Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t show any signs of this lingering issue being addressed either.
Page 2 of 2: How Fast & Furious Can Solve Justice For Han
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020