Trailers and plot details for F9 have confirmed that Fast & Furious 9 will retcon multiple aspects of the franchise’s past. After the early adventures of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), Fast & Furious has continued to evolve into one of the biggest franchises in the world. Not only do these films routinely deliver high-octane action, but they’ve created an entire universe stemming from the Toretto family.
For many, the set pieces are what the Fast Saga is known for, but the evolution of the story is also key. After all, the stakes of the action only exist for the audience if they care about the characters. However, this franchise has also proven that continuity can be bent in multiple directions to service whatever story they imagine. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was killed in the fourth installment until it was decided that she could come back in Fast & Furious 6. Meanwhile, the series retconned when Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift takes place in the timeline, with it now being the sixth film chronologically.
Based on what has been shown of F9 already, more retcons are coming to the Fast & Furious franchise this year. The first Fast & Furious 9 trailer surprised fans with the return of Sung Kang as Han, whose death has been shown multiple times in the films. This wasn’t the only shocker to the Fast & Furious faithful though, as it was also revealed that Dom, who is all about family, has a secret brother. With these moments included in the first trailer, there’s no telling what else F9 could hold – but clearly it is set to change the past and future of the franchise in a big way.
Han’s return in Fast & Furious 9 is a significant retcon to make at this stage in the franchise. He originally died during one of the climactic chase sequences in Tokyo Drift in 2006, but that wasn’t Han’s last appearance. Han returned to the franchise in the next three installments, up until his death was recreated at the end of Fast & Furious 6. In this version of the scene, it was revealed that his death wasn’t an accident and that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) instead wanted Han to die as revenge for what happened to Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). This retcon only made fans hate Deckard more in Furious 7 and what he did wasn’t forgotten as the franchise started to make him a hero.
It was Deckard’s addition to Dom’s crew in The Fate of the Furious and his subsequent co-lead role in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw that began the #JusticeForHan movement. This hashtag became one of the franchise’s biggest discussion points online for years, with different people involved teasing that an answer might come soon. Now we know that this is happening in F9 as Han is back, to the surprise of fans and it appears most of the characters in the film. The decision to retcon Han’s death to now make it not happen is a move that will help clear the way for Deckard to make a full hero turn.
That said, the other benefit to this retcon is that Han is now back in the Fast & Furious franchise again. Details on his role – and how he’s even around at all – in Fast & Furious 9 are slim at the moment, but he’ll be welcomed back to Dom’s group with open arms. He may have been in an accident the last time audiences saw him, but the trailers have already shown he’ll have no issues getting back behind the wheel. One of the final moments of the first trailer shows Han whipping his orange ride into action.
In addition to Han returning, Fast & Furious 9 could change everything fans thought they knew about Dom with the reveal that he has a secret younger brother. Jakob, played by John Cena, is set to be the main antagonist of the upcoming feature and will hand-in-hand with Cipher (Charlize Theron) to take down Dom. He’s described as a master thief, assassin, and performance driver, and he’s trained his entire life to be better than his older sibling. But, Jakob’s mere existence – and both Dom and Letty knowing about him – signals a major retcon for the Fast & Furious franchise.
From the very beginning of the series, Dom valued family more than just about anything. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect his family, whether they are blood-related or part of his racing family. The franchise has even seen his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) have a recurring role. So, the fact that Dom has a brother in the first place that no one knew about is odd. What makes this even more peculiar is the idea that Dom would accept this splintered relationship with his younger brother. How Fast & Furious 9 handles the history between Dom and Jakob will be one aspect of the story that should prove to be among the most important, as it likely won’t just play a big part in the story at hand, but could also change how Dom is viewed in previous films.
Both of these retcons don’t only add new layers to what fans can expect from Fast & Furious 9, but they could also have an impact on the future of the franchise as well. The decision to bring Han back to life is one that was, hopefully, not made lightly or with short term benefits in mind. Now that he will be reunited with his friends, it is possible that Han will be a recurring character in the franchise again. There is already an expectation that Fast & Furious 10 will happen, and it could be two parts according to Diesel, so Han could be featured in those films or even be the star of a spinoff, one that could also bring back Gal Gadot’s Gisele.
As for Jakob, the introduction of Dom’s brother could go in a number of different directions in the future. If he makes it out of Fast & Furious 9 alive, it will not be surprising to see Jakob make a heroic turn in future films. Cena is an incredibly popular actor with a huge fan base, so it could be in the franchise’s best interests to keep him around for Fast & Furious 10 (and beyond). Jakob could even follow a similar path as Deckard, going from the villain, to reluctant ally, and then a true hero who could lead a spinoff film.
In the bigger picture though, both of these retcons also serve as great reminders that the Fast & Furious franchise is not afraid to change major parts of its history. It is unlikely that sequels will reveal Dom has another secret sibling out there, but other revelations about his parents could come – possibly even in Fast & Furious 9. And now that they’re figuring out how Han can still be around, it is possible that other films will explain that other characters who were believed to be dead are still alive too.
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