Furious 7: Getting You Up To Speed On The Fast & The Furious

The road to Furious 7, the latest installment of The Fast & The Furious series kicked off on [...]

The road to Furious 7, the latest installment of The Fast & The Furious series kicked off on Saturday with the world premiere of the trailer for the seventh film.

Furious 7 is a penultimate sequel in the popular franchise as several elements and storylines converge.

But in order to know where the road to Furious 7 is headed, one must know where it all began.

The Story So Far

Fast and the Furious is the story of Dominic Toretto, who with his girlfriend Letty, leads a team of street-racers and truck hijackers.

When the first film begins, the audience is introduced to Brian O'Conner, a detective for the LAPD, who goes undercover to infiltrate Dom's operation. Despite Dom's illegal activities, O'Conner realizes that the ex-con is a man of principle who lives by a code he refers to as Ride or Die, namely a devotion to family.

As Dom puts it, he doesn't have friends, just family. Conflicted and falling deeply in love with Dom's younger sister Mia, O'Conner finds himself in a maelstrom when a member of Dom's crew is seriously injured and he's forced to call in a medvac and in essence blow his cover, putting him in immediate danger. In addition O'Conner, Dom and the rest of the team soon find themselves in the crosshairs of a ruthless Vietnamese gang, led bey Johnny Tran.

O'Conner and Dom put their issues aside and take down Tran. In a final confrontation, O'Conner allows Dom to escape police custody.

In the sequels that follow, O'Conner and Dom are pitted against gang members, corrupt police, and drug lords in the states, South America and Europe. The series introduces additional players who would become allies and/or members of Dom's team, including O'Conner's childhood best friend Roman Pierce, computer and tech wiz Tej Parker, former Mossad agent Giselle Harabo, and racer/hijacker Han Lue.

 The bonds of family are repeatedly put to the test with Dom and his crew. Letty is presumed dead while going undercover and investigating drug kingpin Arturo Braga on behalf of O'Conner who has been promoted to F.B.I. agent. Mia learns that she's expecting. By the beginning of Fast Five, O'Conner is on the run as a fugitive with Mia and Dom after they're blamed for the murder of DEA agents (courtesy of Brazilian crime lord Herman Reyes) forcing them to flee to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to elude federal agents and exact revenge.

Enter DSS agent Luke Hobbs whose team has been assigned to bringing in O'Conner and the Torettos, dead or alive. Dom calls for reinforcements when he enlists Han, Tej, Roman and Giselle to assist in a heist to steal Reyes' money and leave him bankrupt. Following the massacre of his team, Hobbs reluctantly teams with Dom. Following the heist and Reyes' death, Hobbs warns Dom that he still vows to bring him to justice but gives him and his crew a 24-hour head start to escape.

At the end of Fast Five, Hobbs gains information that changes everything.

Fast and Furious 6 opens with Mia giving birth to her and Brian's son, Jack. Dom and his team have retired as millionaires after the events in Brazil. Shortly thereafter Dom is tracked down by Hobbs who asks for his aid in taking down Owen Shaw; an ex British special forces soldier and the leader of an international crime syndicate who has a team of world class racers and smugglers. Shaw's endgame is acquiring the pieces to assemble a Nightshade device which can disable power in an entire region; he intends to sell it to the highest bidder.

Dom initially refuses to get involved, until Hobbs reveals that not only is Letty is alive but is working for Shaw. Seeking to find out what happened to Letty, Dom and O'Conner agree to aid Hobbs in exchange for full pardons so they can return freely to the United States.

Throughout the film it appears that Dom and his team have met their match in Shaw and his rival unit. Dom later discovers that Letty has no memory of her past, or her relationship with Dom, following the attempt on her life which left her hospitalized. With Braga on Shaw's payroll, Shaw was aware that Letty was an informant when she went undercover for O'Conner. With Letty a blank slate, with invaluable skills as a hijacker, Shaw faked Letty's death and recruited her for his unit.

When Shaw double-crosses Letty and nearly kills her, Dom saves her and the two are reunited. The final confrontation results in Dom, Hobbs, Brian and the rest of the crew going after Hobbs and rescuing a kidnapped Mia. Giselle makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Han. Shaw and his team are fatally defeated and Dom and his team are able to return to the U.S.

However their respite is short lived. Owen's older brother, Ian Shaw murders Han and calls Dom to warn him that he's coming for him and his team.

Tokyo Drift

The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the third film in the series and was originally set up to close out the franchise. Tokyo Drift deals with a new cast which is initially unrelated to the previous films. In the movie, Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) is sent to live with his father, who is stationed as a U.S. Navy Officer in Tokyo, Japan, after totaling his car in an illegal street race. It isn't long before he discovers the world of drift racing and comes into conflict with Takashi, resident Drift King who has ties to the Yakuza. This movie introduces Han who serves as a mentor to Boswell. Han is later killed in the film (in which the audience later learns in Fast & Furious 6 by Ian Shaw) and after Takaszhi's defeat, the movie ends with Boswell as the new Drift King who is then challenged by an unknown racer who turns out to be none other than Dom.

However when Universal decided to make another F&F and revamp the franchise, the producers and writers decided to get creative with the time line.

The events in Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6 all take place prior to Tokyo Drift.

In Furious 7, Black reprises his role as Boswell.

The seventh installment is set to show what the events that lead to Dom's arrival in Japan in Tokyo Drift and what transpires afterward. Dom and the rest of his team are being hunted by Ian Shaw and they're out to avenge Han's murder before Shaw finds them first.

Furious 7 opens nationwide on April 3, 2015.