If there was ever any doubt that the Fast & Furious franchise was the most important movie saga in cinematic history, the trailer for its ninth and latest episode (tenth, I guess, if you count Hobbs & Shaw) basically solidifies that The Fast Saga has surpassed Avengers and Star Wars. I mean, just look at this:
Never mind the ridiculous, over-the-top action (the cars are swinging from vines, y’all), this might be the most well put together trailer I’ve ever seen. This time, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto faces off against another WWE Superstar (because we know how he and The Rock feel about one another), John Cena’s Jacob. But of course, the trailer’s biggest holy shit moment was the kicker in which Sung Kang’s Han emerges from the dead. That’s right! We finally have Justice For Han!
It was only a matter of time for Kang’s return to the franchise. Fans have been clamoring for it ever since his breakout performances in Tokyo Drift and Fast Five. Eventually, a hashtag that was born after the franchise went two whole films basically shitting on his legacy (yeah, I still don’t forgive them for redeeming Deckard Shaw) went on to be a bonafide movement. So much so that Han’s surprise appearance became the lead story of every article about the trailer — including this one.
There is something heartening about the fact that The Fast Saga, which is a billion dollar franchise with one of the most diverse crews both in front of and behind the camera, features an Asian American character as its heart and soul. It also proves the power of fan engagement. As Kang recently told Jen Yamato (one of the internet’s most strident #JusticeForHan champions, by the way) in the LA Times, “I wondered, does the audience really have a voice?”
Fortunately for fans, F9 meant the return of Justin Lin, the man who not only created Han but transformed the franchise into a juggernaut following the third installment, Tokyo Drift. Arguably the most successful Asian American director in Hollywood, Lin’s return to the franchise signaled Kang’s return months ago when he was spotted wearing a “Justice For Han” t-shirt on set. Lin, whose breakout indie Better Luck Tomorrow was a foundational Asian American film that launched the careers of most of its cast including Kang (blink and you’ll miss a cameo by fellow BLT alum Jason Tobin returning to the franchise as Earl), has been a champion for representation his entire career, so it’s no wonder the director would find a way to bring one of the most iconic AAPI characters in cinema back from the dead.
But now that we know Han somehow escaped death, can the Fast franchise bring back another character from the great beyond? I’ve been saying this ever since they announced the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff, but I think the world is waiting for the spinoff we all want.
Pretty sure Gal Gadot knows a thing or two about Justice.