How Is Han Alive for His Fast and Furious Return in F9?

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The recent Fast & Furious 9 trailer, or F9, as it’s been officially titled, revealed something of a major surprise. Fan-favorite character Han, played by Sung Kang, made his unlikely return at the end of the footage. Given that many fans thought Han was dead, this came as something of a shock. Many may be wondering, how can Han possibly be alive? The franchise may very well have already provided an answer to that question.

First, a quick recap before looking at how Han is Alive. We first met him in the third entry, Tokyo Drift. Late in the movie, Han dies in a tragic car wreck, or so we think. Later, in the post-credit scene for Fast & Furious 6, it’s revealed that Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, brother of Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw, was behind Han’s death. The scene also retconned Tokyo Drift and placed it after the events of Fast & Furious 6, which helped to explain why the character was able to appear in the fourth, fifth and sixth entries in the series following his on-screen demise.

That was the last time we saw Han before his return in Fast & Furious 9, but a lot has happened since then. Shaw was bested in Furious 7 and, ultimately, locked up. He then teamed up with The Rock’s Hobbs in The Fate of the Furious, before the two were paired up for their own spin-off, which was released last year in the form of Hobbs & Shaw. It’s within that very movie where the explanation for Han’s return may lie, and things could get a little strange.

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Hobbs & Shaw‘s main villain is Brixton, played by Idris Elba. Brixton’s arrival into the Fast Saga changed things in a big way, as he was a human who had received genetic and mechanical upgrades. This turned him into something of a supervillain who was more machine than man. We come to find out that a mysterious organization named Eteon is behind these upgrades. Brixton was taking orders from an ominous, disembodies voice throughout the movie, and we never find out who is behind the voice, which left the door open to explore that further in future entries.

Eteon has the power to not only upgrade, but more or less rebuild a human being. Sure, this is venturing into sci-fi territory, but we never saw Han’s body. It’s entirely possible and, within the logic of the Fast & Furious franchise, almost likely that this organization had something to do with Han’s return. This was put forth on the How Did This Get Made podcast covering Hobbs & Shaw, with co-host Jason Mantzoukas explaining that this could be the path to resurrecting Han. However, if we wander down that path, it opens up a whole host of questions.

In Hobbs & Shaw, Eteon was painted as evil. If they were responsible for bringing Han back, wouldn’t they have tried to turn him evil? He certainly seems to be back alongside Dom and the gang, who will be chasing down Dom’s long lost brother Jakob, played by John Cena, in F9. How did Han avoid an evil turn like Brixton? Then again, maybe someone on the right side of the law, or an ally of the Fast Family, got their hands on Eteon’s technology as well. For now, we have far more questions than answers, assuming this is how Han’s return in the F9 Super Bowl commercial is justified.

It would certainly help tie Hobbs & Shaw back in with the main franchise and could open the door for Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham to return in Fast & Furious 10. Fans have been calling for #JusticeForHan for a long time. Shaw killed the beloved character but has since become something of an ally. That is a complicated thread that will undoubtedly need to be pulled sooner or later. Uniting them against a common enemy, Eteon, would be one way to handle it. F9 is set to hit theaters on May 22. This comes to us from the How Did this Get Made podcast.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb