Skip to main content

F9 Director Justin Lin Explains How Justice For Han Came Together Thanks To Fan Outcry

Sung Kang in F9 poster

Having now directed five of the nine entries in the main franchise Justin Lin is Fast & Furious royalty. After leaving the series following the sixth film, Lin was brought back to direct F9, the latest entry in the series. And while the movie had many struggles thanks to the global pandemic, one area where the movie was a major hit with fans was that it finally produced "Justice for Han," or at the very least, began to be a start on that road. Many fans believe the most recent films had done Han's memory dirty, and had been calling for justice, and Lin says those calls for a change are exactly the reason that Han, and Lin, returned in F9.

The problem fans had was that when the Fast & Furious franchise retconned Han's death to be an intentional act by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), which was fine on its own, the next movie The Fate of the Furious followed that up by making Shaw a part of the team, and inviting him to the celebratory barbecue at the end of the movie. That rubbed a lot of fans wrong, and Justin Lin says that when he first heard about it, he discovered just how upset the fans really were. In one of the special features attached to the new F9 Blu-ray Lin explains...

Two-three years ago, someone mentioned that [Deckard] Shaw was at the Toretto barbecue. That was the first time I heard about 'Justice for Han.' I started talking to fans and I realized they were really upset.

It's not an understatement to say Justice for Han was huge. A lot of fans who had grown to love the whole franchise and all the characters in it were somewhat shocked that the movie not only turned a villain who had killed one of the family into a hero, but it did so without so much as addressing that fact on the screen. At no point does any character say anything. At no point does Deckard Shaw so much as try to apologize.

According to Justin Lin, the reason there was never any explanation inside the movie itself was because...there wasn't one. Lin says that when talking to Universal and asking why this happened, nobody had an answer. Lin himself decided that the issue needed to be addressed in some way, and the best way to do so was to bring Han back to life. The director continues...

After discovering this whole 'Justice for Han' movement, I even sat and talked to the studio and I said, 'What happened?' Nobody could give me an answer... I felt like it was something that needed to be addressed... If they actually did handle it correctly, then Han would probably stay dead.

Justice for Han didn't necessarily mean bringing Han back to life. The issue wasn't that he died but the fact that his death was mistreated according to fans. And because they voiced their displeasure, something was actually done about it. Justice for Han has begun. Based on the post-credits scene in F9 it seems likely that there is more to this story, and maybe justice will finally be served in Fast and Furious 10.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.