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Why They Go Into Space (How Realistic Is It?)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for F9

The newest Fast & Furious movie, F9, takes the series to space, but why does Fast & Furious 9 head to space in a rocket car–and how realistic is it? After a delay of just over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release brings with it all of the series’ unhinged action and comedic banter. Still, even after an astonishing 20-year run in which the franchise has reached superhero movie levels in both its box office success and the on-screen abilities of its characters, “Fast & Furious in space” is still a surreal sentence to read.

Then again, that’s still only relatively speaking. The Fast & Furious series began as a Point Break-knockoff of street racers stealing DVD players, and by 2015’s Furious 7, Dominic Toretto was effortlessly leaping a car from one skyscraper to another like a level in Super Mario Brothers. At this point, if a Fast & Furious movie isn’t casually breaking one law of physics after another, it just isn’t doing its job.

RELATED: F9 Cast Guide: Every New & Returning Character

Other action movie franchises may look at something like space travel as off-limits if it weren’t already a part of the series from the get-go. For The Fast Saga, the attitude is simply to dive head first into anything it hasn’t tried yet, as the fact that a Fast & Furious franchise crossover with the Jurassic World movies is even being discussed shows. Here’s how F9 goes to space, along with whether or not it’s even theoretically possible.

Why Fast & Furious Goes To Space In F9
Fast & Furious 9 Fan Poster Teases Dom Going To Space

F9’s MacGuffin is a device codenamed Ares, essentially a souped-up version of God’s Eye from Furious 7 that enables the user to hack into the entire digital network across the world all at once. Once its program has been uploaded into a satellite in Earth’s orbit, whoever controls Ares effectively has power over the entire planet and, most importantly, over its arsenal of weapons. To stop Cipher from wielding the power of Ares, Dom and his crew devise their most literally out-of-this-world plan yet.

That is, of course, the in-story reason for F9’s plot device of space travel. Externally to the story, F9 goes to space because each Fast & Furious movie from Fast Five on is committed to being twice as off-the-chain as the last one. For a franchise that started out about street racing, the Fast & Furious movies going to space was simply the next step in making the ridiculous believable for F9’s 145-minute runtime. As for how the movie makes it to space, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a four-wheel vehicle.

How Roman & Tej Go To Space In F9
Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson about to be launched into tospace in F9 The Fast Saga.

Everything in Fast & Furious seems to connect back to Tokyo Drift in some way, and in F9’s case, it’s with the return of Sean Boswell, Earl Hu, and Twinkie. Sean shows Tej Parker and Roman Pearce a new car of his own design, outfitted with a rocket booster to push it greater speeds than ever. Though the prototype explodes after the demo Sean gives to Tej and Roman, it proves instrumental when the efforts of Dom’s family to stop Cipher calls upon them to take to the stars.

In order to prevent Cipher’s satellite uplink to Ares, the rocket car is fitted out with some extra rocket boosters, attached to a plane piloted by Sean and Earl, and taken to an altitude of 50,000 feet in order for Tej and Roman to take off into the atmsophere. With some modifications and adjustments to accomodate space travel, the rocket car is effectively outfitted into a true spacecraft at the 11th hour. The question is, just how grounded in scientific accuracy is Tej and Roman’s plan?

RELATED: F9: How Han Really Survived 

How Accurate Is F9’s Space Sequence?
F9 Trailer Breakdown 2

Director Justin Lin consulted with scientists on the space aspect of F9, with Lin specifically mentioning that he was “learning about fuel and physics” during production. While this doesn’t present a full picture of the research conducted in designing Roman’s and Tej’s space car, it seems the primary concern was getting the part about launching a human-piloted vehicle into space in the range of believability. In that aspect, F9 is probably the closest to reality, with Roman and Tej’s car being fitted with rocket thrusters and affixed to a plane piloted by Sean Boswell and Earl Hu. Once they take off and reach the frontier of space, however, that’s where F9 throws caution to the wind in true Fast & Furious fashion.

Roman Pearce and Tej Parker’s spacesuits are homemade approximations of what astronauts wear to go into space, with scuba helmets in place of more state-of-the-art breathing gear and even Tej admitting that duct tape is one of the key components of their suits. The car itself is also hardly fashioned to be a similar metal grading as a NASA space shuttle. Though Tej hand waves away concerns about pressure differentials and other outer space dangers, he and Roman very likely owe much more to the latter’s theory about Dom’s family being somehow invincible keeping them alive than their last-minute, thrown together two-man space program. The fact that Tej and Roman were able to open the doors of the car, go out in the void of space, board a space station in their crude spacesuits, and make it back to Earth is testimony to Tej’s technical genius within the context of the Fast & Furious series, but more so how the franchise plays by absolutely no rules of physics or science but its own.

Did F9’s Space Sequence Live Up To The Hype?
Vin diesel Dom Fast and furious 9

Of course, anyone going into the Fast & Furious movies at this stage of the series demanding any deference to scientific accuracy is barking up the wrong tree. The real question for F9 is not and never has been whether the movie accurately depicts space travel, but whether it does it well as a Fast & Furious action sequence. As an escalation of the series’ ever-expanding outlandishness that began with the safe-towing in Fast Five (now an almost tame action scene by the standards of absurdity Fast & Furious 9 embraces), the answer is a bit of a mixed bag. Tej and Roman’s comedic banter has probably finally hit its peak of Roman panicking at what he’s gotten himself into and Tej reassuring him that the situation is under control. It’s also interwoven into the plot as to actually be a crucial component of the larger team effort to stop Cipher’s plan, giving it some real weight in a weightless environment. However, the sequence may have also benefitted from being kept under wraps.

The poster of Dom standing outside of a space shuttle give the marketing hook of “Fast & Furious goes to space,” even if Dom himself isn’t involved in the endeavor. With the series now so reliant on one-upping itself to increasingly wild extremes, that approach probably did a lot to excite audiences ahead of the movie. However, it also may have built expectations that Dom’s entire crew would square off in a final showdown with the villains on a space station rather than Tej and Roman’s two-man mission. In that regard, keeping the space aspect of Fast & Furious 9 under wraps until its release might’ve given the movie a secret weapon to throw at audiences and really left an impression of “where can they possibly go now?” by the end. Still, whatever nitpicks one might have with the role space travel plays in F9, the fact remains that it’s still boldly gone where no Fast & Furious movie has gone before.

When The Fast and the Furious first hit theaters in 2001, integrating space travel into the series would have been the most laughable thing in the world. The fact that it’s actually a significant element of F9 shows that perhaps the franchise’s real achievement lies not in how well it pulls that off, but the fact that it can do so with such casual abandon. Fast & Furious 10 and 11 have their work cut out for them in closing out the series with something more outrageously insane, and frankly, time travel now seems like as good a gamble as any.

NEXT: F9’s End Credits Scene Means Big Things For Fast 10 AND Hobbs & Shaw 2

Key Release Dates F9 The Fast Saga Poster

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Fast & Furious 11 Needs Hobbs Vs. Dom (To End The Rock & Vin Diesel’s Feud)


Fast and Furious 11 needs to feature an epic fight between The Rock and Vin Diesel to resolve the real-life feud and bring closure to their characters’ relationship. The clash between Dom and Hobbs in Fast Five was a game-changer, and revisiting that epic confrontation in Fast 11 would elevate the action and add nostalgia. A showdown between Dom and Hobbs in Fast 11 could serve as a decisive moment of reconciliation, reaffirming the underlying themes of family and unity in the franchise.

Now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has returned to the Fast Saga, Fast and Furious 11 needs to include an epic fight between Johnson and Vin Diesel. In the high-octane world of the Fast and Furious franchise, the thrill of fast cars and heart-stopping action has always been amplified by the magnetic on-screen chemistry between its stars. However, a real-life feud between The Rock and Vin Diesel has been brewing since 2016. Director Louis Leterrier achieved the impossible by bringing The Rock back into the fold. Now, he must find a way to reunite Luke Hobbs and Dominic Toretto on-screen.

Ever since Fate of the Furious, the void left by The Rock’s absence has grown more conspicuous. The actor’s feud with Vin Diesel has cast a shadow over the franchise, making it increasingly difficult for the writers and directors to craft a cohesive narrative. As Fast Saga fans await the next installment, all eyes are on Leterrier to weave a compelling story that not only showcases jaw-dropping action but also offers a chance for Hobbs and Dom to partake in an epic showdown.

Hobbs & Dom Fighting In Fast & Furious 11 Would Bring Their Arc Full Circle
Vin Diesel's Dom confronts Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs in Fast Five

Fast X and Fast and Furious 11 act as sequels to Fast Five in many ways, so it makes perfect sense for the upcoming installment to build on the fight scene between Dom and Hobbs from Fast Five. The clash between the two powerhouse characters left an indelible mark on fans. Revisiting that epic confrontation could elevate the adrenaline-fueled action and add a layer of nostalgia to Fast and Furious 11. Now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had a change of heart and returned to the Fast Saga, the anticipation for a rematch between his and Vin Diesel’s characters has reached a fever pitch.

Dom and Hobbs’ showdown in Fast Five was a game-changer for the franchise, propelling it to new heights with its intensity and raw energy. Given the unresolved tension between the two stars in real life, a meticulously crafted fight scene in Fast 11 has the potential to invigorate the climax of the series and provide a cathartic experience for the actors and fans alike. As Fast 11 may be the final chapter in the Fast and Furious universe, all eyes are on this anticipated clash. Hopefully, a brotherly fight will be the defining moment that brings harmony back to the Fast Saga family.

The Rock & Vin Diesel Can Put Their Feud To Rest On Screen
Hobbs holding on to Dom in Fast and Furious 5

Vin Diesel and The Rock’s personal history adds a layer of complexity to any potential fight between their characters in Fast and Furious 11. Given their real-life feud, it’s unlikely either actor would be portrayed as the clear winner or loser. Moreover, from a storytelling perspective, it would be counterproductive to have Dom excessively harm or kill Hobbs or vice versa. However, as the series approaches its potential end, a showdown between Dom and Hobbs could serve as a decisive moment of reconciliation. After all, throughout the Fast and Furious films, audiences have witnessed a recurring pattern of men engaging in physical conflicts before eventually forming unbreakable bonds.

For instance, Fast and Furious sees Dom and Brian’s tumultuous relationship evolve into a deep brotherly connection after a series of knock-down, drag-out fights. This same sort of understanding between Dom and Hobbs would reaffirm the underlying themes of reconciliation and family that have contributed to the franchise’s enduring popularity. By embracing the notion that they are, in a sense, brothers, Dom and Hobbs could mend their on-screen relationship and deliver a broader message of unity. This would ultimately give fans a satisfying conclusion to their relationship in Fast and Furious 11.

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Vin Diesel Posts Paul Walker Tribute On 10th Anniversary Of His Death


Vin Diesel shares a touching tribute to Paul Walker 10 years after the actor’s tragic death on November 30, 2013. Diesel expresses that “more smiles manage to break through the tears” as years pass because he knows his bond with Walker will be stronger than ever when they eventually reunite. Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, remains alive in the world of Fast and Furious, and Diesel has previously teased that the franchise won’t end without a proper farewell to Brian and Walker.

Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel takes to social media to share a touching tribute to Paul Walker, 10 years after the actor’s death. First released in 2001, the debut installment in the long-running Fast and Furious franchise introduces Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Walker as Brian O’Connor. Both characters would return for a number of sequels, but Walker tragically passed away on November 30, 2013, during the production of Furious 7.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of Walker’s passing, Diesel has shared a touching tribute post on Instagram to honor his late Fast and Furious costar. Check out the actor’s emotional post below:

Accompanying an image of Walker with one of his daughters, Diesel reminisces about an important lesson learned from the late actor and how his legacy still lives on today. Diesel’s full caption is included below:

I was listening to a song this morning…‘That Lucky Old Sun’… thought of you, racing around Heaven all day. Hahaha…
The family of the Mourning, feels like it has grown since a decade ago… feel’s like that experience of losing someone is far too common today. Leaving more and more of us in search for meaning, trying to make sense of this complex existence…
Oh, I have finally understood what you use to do with the phone, “phone Fasting”… you had the insight to turn off your phone for long stretches of time. I started this year to do just that. You used to say, Vin and I can go years without talking, and our brotherhood will always be stronger than we left it, the ones who truly love you will always be there.
Amen to that.
This is one of my favorite images ever taken… You knew how proud I was when my daughter, the Alpha Angel, your niece would play the piano… well last night she was playing Moonlight Sonata… it took me back to the night before she was born. Me and you were working late… you were telling me that the best moment in life would be witnessing my child being born. That priceless smile you had when I told you the next day that I had cut the umbilical cord…
The next song she started playing on the piano is by an artist you would have loved, named Billie Eilish, ‘What was I made for’… when she started to play, the other angels all came and joined her at the piano and they started singing… wow…emotions… angels, I know you were listening.
After ten years… I know these days of beautiful remembrance will be filled with tears. But as time rolls on, with each year that passes… more smiles manage to break through the tears. Cause I know, when I see you again… our brotherhood will be stronger than we left it.
Miss you.

Will Brian Be Seen Again In Fast & Furious?
Furious 7 Reveals How Paul Walker’s Character Can Return
CGI Paul Walker in Furious 7.

Walker’s death in November 2013 came with a great deal of sadness, but it also created problems for the Furious 7 production, which was about halfway done. It was ultimately decided that Walker’s remaining scenes would be completed with a digital recreation of the actor, with his two brothers, Cody and Caleb Walker, serving as body doubles. Although Walker may have passed away, Brian remains alive and well within the world of the films, though he has not been seen in the flesh since Furious 7’s emotional ending.

The closet audiences have come to seeing Brian again (outside of the flashbacks featured in Fast X) is at the end of F9: The Fast Saga, when the character’s iconic Nissan Skyline pulls up at Dom’s house. This summer’s Fast X supposedly sets up the conclusion of the franchise in an 11th and potentially 12th installment (in addition to the announced Dwayne Johnson Luke Hobbs spinoff movie), and it’s very likely that the final movie will see Brian return in some capacity.

Diesel has also essentially teased as much, telling Total Film (via GamesRadar) earlier this year: “I couldn’t imagine this saga ending without truly saying goodbye to Brian O’Conner.” It’s unclear if this will mean a substantial digital recreation of the actor for extended portions of the film or a quick cameo at the very end, but it seems like audiences haven’t seen the last of Brian just yet. Even in death, Walker remains a key pillar of Fast and Furious, and it’s fitting that the final film will feature another heartfelt goodbye to further honor the late actor.

Source: Vin Diesel/ Instagram

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster

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All 4 Fast & Furious Heroes Who Stayed Dead (& Which One Is Most Likely To Return)


Fast & Furious franchise is known for bringing back dead characters, but there are a few heroes who have remained dead. Jack Toretto, Dom’s father, died in a racing accident and his death should not be undone in the franchise. Jesse, a member of Dom’s crew, was killed in a drive-by shooting, while Vince was killed during an ambush. Elena, Dom’s love interest, was killed by the villain Cipher.

The Fast & Furious franchise has brought many characters back from the dead, but a handful of its heroes have remained killed off after their demise. The Fast Saga has taken its characters on a wild ride from street racing to the most outlandish adventures possible. The running theme of the Fast & Furious franchise has long been family, with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) building quite a large family indeed over the course of the Fast Saga’s run.

On top of its embrace of ridiculous, superhuman feats as a staple of its action scenes, the Fast & Furious movies are also well known for bringing back seemingly dead characters for more missions. The returns of Sung Kang’s Han in F9 and Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar in Fast X would be especially noteworthy in emphasizing the notion that no Fast & Furious death is irreversible. However, that is not entirely true, as there have been a few Fast & Furious heroes who have died and never come back.

RELATED: 10 Fast & Furious Characters Who Must Return In New Hobbs Spinoff

4 Jack Toretto
An image of Jack Toretto driving a car in F9

Jack Toretto (J.D. Pardo) is the father of Dom, Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Jakob Toretto (John Cena), and is first seen in a flashback to 1989 in F9. Jack is a highly skilled race car driver who instilled that talent in his children, with Dom and Jakob being part of his racing pit crew. However, Jack’s racing career took a tragic turn when his car malfunctioned and crashed, killing him. Dom later beat his father’s racing opponent, Kenny Linder (Jim Parrack), almost to death with a wrench, believing him responsible for his father’s demise.

This tragedy also led to Dom and Jakob falling out, with Dom later coming to believe that Jakob set up their father’s death since he was the last one to work on his car. However, Jack was intentionally attempting to throw the race in order to get his family out of debt. He had asked Jakob to help tinker with his car so that it would fail, with Jack’s death being unintentional on both their parts. While his return has been theorized by fans, of all the characters killed off in Fast & Furious, Jack Toretto’s death should never be retconned.

3 Jesse
Jesse in The Fast and the Furious pic

One of the early members of Dom’s family in the original The Fast and the Furious, Jesse (Chad Lindberg) was the brains of Dom’s crew in his enterprise of stealing DVD players. Jesse went on the run after losing a street race to Dom’s rival, Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), having bet his MK3 Volkswagen Jetta in the race. Jesse was later killed outside of Dom’s house when Johnny Tran and his associate Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee) arrived and performed a drive-by shooting. Dom and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) then chased down Johnny Tran and Lance Nguyen to avenge their fallen friend.

2 Vince
fast and furious 5 vince

Vince (Matt Schulze) was another member of Dom’s crew in The Fast & the Furious, and he was badly injured during a truck heist in that first movie. After his recovery, Vince fled to Rio de Janeiro where he later reunited with Dom and family in Fast Five. Despite Vince having settled down with a wife and a baby son, he agreed to join Dom’s daring heist of Rio’s most feared crime boss Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Unfortunately, Vince was killed during an ambush by Reyes’s team. After successfully pulling off the heist, Dom left Vince’s intended share of the money with his wife and son.

1 Elena
Elena Neves walks with her gun drawn by a car

Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) worked alongside Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in apprehending Dom and his crew in Fast Five. She and Dom gradually developed feelings for each other, however, and departed for Spain with Dom at the end of the movie. After Dom learned that his wife Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) was still alive despite her apparent death in Fast & Furious, Dom and Elena had an amicable split, only for it to later be revealed that Elena is the mother of Dom’s son in The Fate of the Furious.

RELATED: How (& Where) To Watch The Fast & Furious Movies In Order By Release Date & Chronologically

After Elena was killed by the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron), Dom and Letty raised the boy together, with the two naming him Brian after Brian O’Conner. Meanwhile, Dom later met Elena’s sister Isabel (Daniela Melchior), who joined Dom’s crew in Fast X. While Elena remains deceased as of Fast X, the arrival of her sister Isabel and Fast & Furious’s habit of not truly killing off characters makes her the most likely thought-to-be-dead hero to potentially return as the franchise speeds towards its finale.

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