F9: What Happened to Han in Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift

The Fast and Furious 9 trailer is out in the world and fans are flipping out about Han's return to the franchise. But, for fans who might not have seen some of the earlier outings, a bunch of questions emerge: what the heck is the deal with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, how did this guy die in the first place, and what in the world is this Justice for Han thing everyone's all hyped up on? Well, let's start out with the first one, if you're going to understand why this is such a big moment for so many of the series' fans, we're going to have to go back to 2006 and the third installment of this high-octane franchise. It was a huge departure that didn't feature Paul Walker and barely slipped Vin Diesel in there at the end. Without the two characters that fans had come to expect in a leadership role, the duty fell to Han and it got messier from there.

In Tokyo Drift, Han has fled to Japan after the events of Fast & Furious 6. (Don't worry we'll get to how something from a later installment happened before this film.) He meets Sean Boswell and takes him under his wing after the younger driver thrashes his Nissan Silvia in a race with his rival Takashi. Over time, the two become close as Han teaches Boswell how to drift while getting back the money for the car through errands. Takashi takes vengeance on Han for both harboring his rival and stealing money from the profits of their Yakuza operation. As Boswel and Han flee, a mysterious Mercedes t-bones the older drivers car, killing him.

Now, things get a little weird when Han turns up in most of the subsequent movies as a member of Dom's crew. He's still very skilled and smooth to boot. But, the audience learns that the brother of the villain from Fast & Furious 6 is the man that killed Han. Later in the series Deckard Shaw is running around with the good guys despite murdering one of Dom's closest friends. It makes sense that the fanbase was probably not too thrilled about the development at all. Han got buried in Furious 7 after Dom went to Tokyo to retrieve his body in Tokyo Drift. (Is this convoluted enough for you? Well, luckily, he's back and the new movie looks like it's going to help put a button on it.)

The "Justice for Han" movement swelled up around those feelings and the fact that Sung Kang is pretty darn cool. The hashtag has popped up whenever a new Fast Saga project turns up. This time, the trailer actually actively alluded to it during the trailer as Han strolls in with snacks in hand. "Justice is coming" in big bold words is about as direct of a reference as you can get. But, fans will have to wait and see just how this justice is going to come about with John Cena trying to take Dom out of the picture.

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Fast & Furious 9 roars into theaters May 22nd.