Does Hobbs & Shaw Hint That a Major Fast & Furious Character Is Dead Now?

The Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw gets its lengthy title due to the fact that Dwayne The Rock Johnson is cutting ties with the main franchise, so that his tracker/lawman Luke Hobbs can get into a little mayhem with his nemesis, rogue spy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). This being Hobbs and Shaw's show, the callbacks and cameos from past Fast & Furious films are few and far between - but a few details of the film may point to a major character from the franchise being dead.

Needless to say, some major Hobbs & Shaw Spoilers are about to be discussed!

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Hobbs & Shaw's plot revolves around cybernetic hitman Brixton (Idris Elba) on the chase for MI6 operative Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), who is carrying a deadly virus Brixton needs for his shadowy techno-terrorist syndicate bosses. The wrinkle is that "Hattie" is actually "Hattie Shaw," Deckard's sister, which is the only thing that motivates the rogue spy to get involved in the mess. Deckard first gets his brotherly love stoked by his mother, Queenie Shaw (Helen Mirren), who tells him that her only wish while behind bars is to see Deckard and his estranged sister visit her together.

...And that's the first time in Hobbs & Shaw where it seems like there's a major elephant in the room - but it's not the last.

Fast & Furious fans should remember that the "Shaw Saga" didn't begin with Deckard but rather his brother, Owen (Luke Evans), who first took on Dom Toretto's crew in Fast and the Furious 6. Last we saw in Fate of the Furious, Owen was revealed not to have died on that fiery plane explosion on that never-ending runway; he was in a black site prison, and Dom helped Queenie break him out in exchange for both Deckard and Owen taking on an aerial mission to save Dom's hostage infant son from the airplane stronghold of Charlize Theron's hacker villain, Cipher. After the mission is successful, Owen ordered the plane's pilot to land at gunpoint, and was never seen again.

Here's the thing: Owen Shaw isn't mentioned once in Hobbs & Shaw. Not once. Not by his mother who wants to see her kids together again; never once directly by his brother or Hobbs, or even his sister. Now, it'd be easy to say that Owen Shaw's gone underground and everybody knows he's no longer an active player - but one last line in the Hobbs and Shaw climatic fight gives definite pause with its possible implications.

The final act of Hobbs & Shaw sees Brixton's army attack Hobbs' home in Samoa, where Hobbs and his brothers fight to repel the villains. That battle comes down to Hobbs and Shaw tag-teaming Brixton, and the resulting rounds of trash-talk get emotional, as it's revealed that Brixton and his organization Eteon are responsible for framing Shaw for killing his own black-ops unit. While airing a list of grievances over the ways in which Brixton ruined his life, Shaw mentions that "You made me kill my own brother." It's skipped over quickly, but there's only two real ways to take the line:

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  1. Deckard is referring to Brixton himself, in the "brothers in arms" sense. Brixton's backstory reveals that he and Shaw were once two elites in the same black-ops unit, but when Brixton joined the evil technology syndicate associated with Cipher, Deckard Shaw refused to turn and killed his friend. Brixton was resurrected with the syndicate's advanced tech as a cyborg hitman. So, Deckard could still be angry that his old friend forced him to kill him.
  2. Deckard killed Owen Shaw in a story we have yet to see or fully learn about.

The latter seems like a big deal that the franchise would definitely need to stop and deal with - especially with where Hobbs & Shaw attempts to take the Deckard Shaw character. However that brings us to the Catch 22 here: either Hobbs & Shaw has a big hole where updates on the character of Owen Shaw should be, or the film skips over a major development in the Shaw family that needs to be addressed.

Catch Hobbs & Shaw now in theaters.