In The Fast & the Furious saga, Dominic Toretto and his crew live their lives a quarter-mile at a time. They also change their minds and retcon the plot and timeline of the series on a whim. Decades have passed since these films were just about street racing, and now, they’re all-out action extravaganzas complete with mind-boggling physics that we can’t even get into.
Aside from the bonkers set pieces in the Fast and the Furious series, there are plot holes that you just have to gloss over if you want to enjoy the films. Those plotholes, when combined with the shaky Fast and Furious timeline, make for an interesting watch. Latter movies in the saga feature characters who, while new to the series, have apparently been kicking around the universe for a while. In many ways, the viewer just has to accept these changes if they want to keep up.
The Fast and Furious series has changed its mind about stories, characters, and relationships so many times that it’s honestly hard to keep track of these retcons.
Han Escaped His Fate In 'Tokyo Drift'Photo: Fast 9 / Universal Pictures
Good news, folks. Han didn't die in Tokyo Drift (or at the end of Fast 6, or the beginning of Furious 7, if you’re keeping track of all of this in your head). In the trailer for F9, Han just saunters onto the screen like we haven’t seen him bite the dust thrice.
As of this writing, there’s no way to know how Han survived his ordeal at the hands of Deckard Shaw, but it’s not the first time someone has come back from the grave in this series.30018Is this a blatant retcon?
Dom Has A Brother Who Is A 'Master Thief, Assassin, And High Performance Driver'Photo: Fast 9 / Universal Pictures
The F9 trailer reveals that, throughout the entire saga, Toretto had a brother that no one knew about and who is apparently the toughest, smartest, best driver on the planet. Obviously, he’s played by John Cena.
This retcon completely changes the character of Dom. In the early films of the saga, the only other family member he has is his sister, Mia, whom Dom is incredibly protective of. When Dom lets down his guard and forms a relationship with Brian (Paul Walker), it’s as if he found the brother he never had. But now we have to go back and rethink all of those interactions.27433Is this a blatant retcon?
The Events Of 'Tokyo Drift' Take Place At Least Seven Years In The FuturePhoto: Universal Pictures
The earliest - but not the most egregious - instance of timeline shenanigans in the Fast and the Furious franchise occurs in Fast 6 when it recontextualizes the demise of Han.
Han was originally shown to perish in the third film of the series, 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. As it happens in that film, Han is taken out by a random car during a traffic collision. However, in Fast 6, this random car is shown to have been driven by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), and the collision is not so random at all.
The problem, of course, is that Fast 6 came out in 2013, which means the events of Fast 4, 5, and 6 are all prequels to Tokyo Drift. So, Tokyo takes place seven years after 2 Fast 2 Furious.20670Is this a blatant retcon?
Cipher Was Pulling The Strings Of Jakande, Owen Shaw, And Possibly Even Braga All AlongPhoto: Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures
This is classic Fast and the Furious timeline shenanigans. In a Machiavellian twist, the events of Fate of the Furious reveal that the villainous hacker Cipher has been overseeing the events of the previous two movies through her connection with Shaw.
Not only was Cipher pulling the strings of Owen Shaw and Mose Jakande, but she probably had something to do with Braga as well.
This kind of retcon is purely done to give the character extra menace, which is fine but weird. Why can’t she just be a baddie who lives in a plane that never touches the ground?13737Is this a blatant retcon?