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Fast and Furious 9: The Return of Han: I’m Asian Superman

(Spoilers below for all previously released films in The Fast & Furious Saga)

Ok, wow…

So, it’s revealed by Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty that John Cena’s Jakob IS Dom’s [little] brother. To look at them, you might wonder how Cena is related to Diesel.  More importantly, you’d wonder how we’re just learning that Dominic “Mr. Family” Toretto has a younger brother that we haven’t heard about in the previous 19 (oy vey) years of the series. Even MORE importantly, you’d wonder how much Cena’s acting has or hasn’t improved since Bumblebee.  These are all valid concerns.

RELATED – Fast & Furious 9 Trailer Drops: Dom’s Family Catches Up With Him

All your wonderment aside, it’s likely that, as Cena is supposed to be Dom’s younger brother, that Cena is the offspring of Dom’s mother moving on after the untimely and tragic death of Papa Toretto, which we learned about in the 2001 film that kicked off the franchise. Dom’s disappointment that his mother could move on “so easily” may have caused a rift and is the reason Jakob hasn’t been mentioned until now.  And yet, SOMEHOW, the fact that Dom has been an absentee big brother isn’t the biggest surprise this trailer has for us.

There’s a lot to unpack from the recent trailer for the 9th installment of the Fast and Furious Saga. From the return of Mia O’Conner (Jordana Brewster), the blink and you’ll miss it moment with Tokyo Drift’s Boswell (Lucas Black) and Earl (Jason Tobin) to Charlize Theron returning as the villainous Cipher, fronting the immediate threat, Cena’s Jakob.

These things aside, the trailer’s biggest reveal is saved for the stinger, when Sung Kang’s Han Seoul-Oh walks into the… (Fast Cave? Furious of Solitude? Hall of #JusticeForHan?) room and, while casually popping food into his mouth, lets the gang know that they have a nice clubhouse. Even though it was teased by the writer, I still wanna know, how is this possible?

RELATED –  Hobbs & Shaw Writer Promises Justice For Han, Michelle Rodriguez Slams Him

Let’s start from the beginning, one more time. Han debuted in Justin Lin’s 2006 The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. That film saw him get “accidentally” killed during a high speed chase in Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing.  And, to be clear, “killed” doesn’t quite get the point across. Han was driving a car at a high rate of speed and hit by another car, which flipped his over, pinned him inside the vehicle, which was on fire, before then being engulfed in flames by a subsequent NOS fueled explosion. To the casual observer, he dead. Maybe the series is adopting Game of Thrones rules: unless you see the body, they’re not actually dead.

It was later revealed in Fast 6, through clever editing and retconning, that the accident that killed Han was actually a calculated murder by the next big bad in the series, Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham.  This was, of course, in retaliation for, what appeared to be, the death of his younger brother, Owen Shaw, in that same movie. Kinda cool and shocking, but proving to be more and more problematic as the series tried to redeem both Shaws, but specifically older Shaw with The Fate of the Furious and now then Fast and the Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw. It’s kind of hard to have a series that preaches “family” when newly accepted members killed other members- horribly.

Fast and the Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw had the nerve to not only be ridiculously named, but also terrible. That said, it might have been the thing that revealed how Han was able to return, seemingly, from the dead. Some theorized that the mysterious figure from Shaw’s past controlling Eteon was Han and it seems that that is less and less likely at this point. However, it could mean that Eteon’s first foray into cybernetics was with Han, rather than Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), who famously declared himself “Black Superman,” which is fitting, because he was also punched to death, like regular, white bread Superman (Death of Superman).

Not much else would explain Han’s ability to, not only survive the explosion that surely should have killed him, but also result in his apparent lack of injuries. This path carries with it certain implications. Namely, it would be likely that Han was now a Trojan horse sent by Eteon, the organization antagonizing Hobbs and Shaw in The Fast and the Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw.  While it’s difficult to say whether or not the producers want there to be that much cross-pollination between the main films and the spin-off at this point, it’s hard to see it going down another way. Although, I doubt Justin Lin would be walking around set wearing a #justiceforhan shirt, if the reveal was that Han is now or always was bad.

RELATED: Fast & Furious 9 Director Rocks #JusticeForHan Shirt On Set

It’s also entirely possible that Han was never hurt, dead or injured and that everything was a ruse, to what end and by whom, we don’t know. It’s weird to say this, but that would be stranger than cybernetic implants. It would likely mean that Dom knew and told no one else in the crew, because why else would he entrust saving his baby to a man that murdered his “brother” and not his actual, you know, “family.” Letty, previously canonically dead herself, even told Deckard in F8 that they hadn’t forgotten everything he’d done, paramount among those thing would have to be killing Han and Gisele.

This series isn’t a stranger to retconning. It bent itself backwards around the wibbly wobbly, time-y wimey bend just to keep Han in the series for three additional movies, Elena and Dom’s baby gestated for WAY too long and Letty has also risen from the dead…with amnesia…which she has now fully recovered from.  I’d say the series was fairly grounded up until Fast Five, but during and after that, the series has been straight up become a comic book.

That’s not a bad thing. I do have one concern: I hope Han’s return was part of a larger plan, rather than an attempt to appease those that were bothered by them making Shaw a headlining figure in the series because, dude, that’s a lot of retconning to help redeem one character that you already retconned INTO the series to begin with. All that said, I honestly can’t wait to see how the writers get themselves out of this corner and how they’ll eventually bring back Gisele…

I won’t have to wait long, as Fast & Furious 9 races into theaters on 22 May 2020.

What do you think? How did Han come back from the dead?!

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