Owen Shaw, played by Luke Evans, wasn't in Hobbs & Shaw but there's an explanation for his absence. The ninth Fast & Furious film is also a spinoff from the main franchise storyline. Dwayne Johnson returns as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham reprises his role as Deckard Shaw, the older brother of Owen. But while this is a family affair, Owen is noticeably absent.
Hobbs & Shaw not only involves Hobbs and Shaw teaming up to take on a villain named Brixton (Idris Elba), who's bent on unleashing a deadly virus to the world, but introduces another member of Deckard's family as well: Hattie Shaw, played by Vanessa Kirby. This movie is the first audiences have heard of Hattie and she's established as an MI6 agent who has stolen the virus from Brixton. Hattie is the younger sister of Deckard and Owen. In continuing the franchise's focus on what it means to be there for one's family, it makes sense Deckard would come to his sister's aid. But why was Owen, who possesses both the family ties and necessary skills to help, not involved in Hobbs & Shaw? His absence was addressed early in the movie's two-hour-plus runtime.
The first time Owen is mentioned in Hobbs & Shaw is when Deckard is visiting with their mother, Magdalene "Queenie" Shaw (Helen Mirren), while she's incarcerated. Over the course of the mother-son heart-to-heart, Queenie makes a reference to Owen while talking about family business but doesn't give specifics on his whereabouts. She then goes on to implore Deckard to reconnect with Hattie because, as it's implied, the siblings haven't spoken in years.
Owen was first introduced into the Fast & Furious franchise as a villain in Fast & Furious 6. It was his goal to get his hands on a program called Nightshade, which had the power to shut down all military communications systems. He appeared briefly early in Furious 7, where he was shown in a hospital bed recovering from injuries sustained at the end of Fast & Furious 6 when he fell out of a military plane. Owen then reappeared in The Fate of the Furious, very much recovered and able to help Deckard take on Cipher (Charlize Theron) and her men in her own plane. It's unclear what happened to Owen after Fate of the Furious since it was neither shown nor explained where he went.
There's always the possibility that Owen will return in a future Fast & Furious movie or, more likely, a Hobbs & Shaw sequel, should one be greenlit. At minimum, getting a definitive answer about what happened to Owen to explain his absence in Hobbs & Shaw is necessary.
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020