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After years of fans asking for "Justice For Han" it appears that with F9, that justice will finally come. The trailer for the newest entry in the Fast & Furious franchise revealed that Han, the character played by Sung Kang, who died at the hands of Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, is, in fact, very much alive. Apparently we have director Justin Lin to thank for that.
With F9 Justin Lin will have directed five of the nine films in the main franchise, making him as much a part of the franchise as many of the characters. He directed both Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, the film which introduced Han, and Fast & Furious 6, the movie which killed him off. In a recent interview with MTV, Lin admitted that he feels a strong connection to both the actor and the character, and he felt that if he was going to return to the franchise, he needed to bring Han with him. According to Lin...
You’ll find out, but Han is a very special character for me. We started way back in my credit card movie [Better Luck Tomorrow] and then he entered the franchise in Tokyo Drift. He’s been kind of a special character throughout, and when I left in [Fast & Furious 6], we kind of left together. One of the reasons for me to come back was to bring him back. I was at a Q&A for a film and someone in the audience said they were confused about what happened. It really kind of got in my head and inspired me that if we’re gonna continue, we should have justice for Han, for sure.
Han honestly has one of the more interesting stories in the Fast & Furious franchise and is at the heart of not one but two, of the best twists in the series. Introduced as a former member of Dominic Toretto's crew, that we had not previously met, in Tokyo Drift, Han dies in a tragic accident. Then with Fast & Furious, the confusingly named fourth film in the series, we see Han working alongside Dom and company. The franchise has jumped back in time to show Han as a member of the team, and we then spend three movies waiting for the shoe to drop and find out when Han's death will happen.
It finally hits during a mid-credits scene in Fast & Furious 6, but it's revealed that the accident from Tokyo Drift was no accident, rather an intentional hit on a member of Dom's crew by a guy with a vendetta, who then becomes the main antagonist of Furious 7.
However, the "Justice For Han" movement only really picked up steam in the lead up to the last movie, The Fate of the Furious. It was there that Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, the man who killed Han, actually joins the team. Fans felt this was a betrayal, as the guy hadn't so much as apologized for killing somebody who was supposed to be "family."
But it seems that the cries of the fans were heard by Justin Lin, and so he came back to the franchise, at least in part, to specifically deal with this issue. We have no idea how or why Han is back, but we'll find out when F9 hits theaters later this year.