F9 director Justin Lin is speaking up about the implications of that Fast 9 end credits scene. The film included a pivotal scene during the credits, and according to Lin, it was just the beginning of what's to come. (Warning: F9 SPOILERS Follow!) The Fast and Furious 9 end credits scene finally addressed an issue that fans have been waiting years for: justice for Han. F9 brings Han Lue (Sung Kang) back from the "dead," but it's only in the end credits scene that Han gets to pay a surprise visit to the man who "killed" him: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).
However, the F9 end credits scene ends with the shock that's written all over Shaw's face when he sees Han, alive, standing on his doorstep. As for what this pivotal little "reunion" implies? Well, only Fast 9 (and Fast 10) director Justin Lin can answer that for sure:
"It's interesting because a lot of people assume when Han comes back in 9, that's Justice for Han. I never felt like that's the case," Lin explains to THR. "The issue with Justice for Han is not, 'Hey, he's gone, we want him back.' It was that something was not right and we need to figure out how to correct that. For me, the most critical element of this is the treatment of this character. So Justice for Han, really, is how we treat Han as he comes back and as we move forward."
So clearly for Lin, the issue of how Fast and the Furious treats Han is a somewhat personal one. And why not? After all, Lin was the one who introduced Han to the franchise, in his first Fast and Furious film, Tokyo Drift. The entire "#JusticeForHan" social media movement began in response to how the franchise began to glorify Statham's Deckard Shaw, who has become so much of an anti-hero by now that he's starring in his own Hobbs & Shaw spinoff series.
For a lot of longtime Fast and Furious fans, seeing Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson now partnering with the man who killed Han has been unforgivable. The issue has carried shades of larger debates about race and representation, and which characters get elevated versus which get forgotten. And so, F9's end credits scene is the first real evidence that Lin intends to hold Fast and Furious and Deckard Shaw accountable for what was done to Han - but where does that subplot go from here? According to Lin:
"There is definitely a lot to explore and to unpack and that is just a moment I wanted to share with the audience — that there's a lot more to come."
As we learn in F9, it was Kurt Russell's Mr. Nobody who recruited Han into serving the CIA, to protect a doomsday weapon and the young girl who activates it. Nobody arranged for Han to be seemingly killed by using Deckard Shaw to do it. However, based on Shaw's reaction it doesn't seem like Deckard was in on the operation Nobody was running, so Han gets the chance to really have the last laugh - or whatever kind satisfaction Han may want.
F9 is now in theaters.