Spoilers are ahead. It's time to check in on the timeline of the Fast and Furious movies, because new information has come to light in F9 and there may be another time jump coming, or maybe one that already happened. Much like the Star Wars films with its original trilogy, prequels, sequels, and solo stories, the Fast and Furious movies have a little fun with the timeline, giving you options when it comes to watch order. But while the new movie has put an end to any questions about where Tokyo Drift fits in the franchise, the placement of Hobbs and Shaw in the timeline is now in question.
You may not notice if you're just watching the Fast Saga for the heists, car stunts, and biceps instead of plot, but the films jump back in time pretty significantly if you watch them in release order — primarily so that Sung Kang could continue playing the fan-favorite character Han and hang out with the family after the character seemingly died at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Midway through the series, Jason Statham's character Deckard Shaw claimed responsibility for Han's death and ended the extended flashback. So, while Tokyo Drift was the third film released in the franchise, the correct chronological order of the films is (deep breath): The Fast and the Furious, 2, Fast 2 Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Furious 7, Fate of the Furious, and F9: The Fast Saga or 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8, 9.
Han's return in F9, and the return of his pals from Tokyo Drift, explain what everyone in the sort-of spinoff has been up to since Han faked his death. They even get to join in the family dinner at the end of the film. This does mean that Tokyo Drift star Lucas Black, at 38 years old, is technically playing a recent college graduate (or college drop-out) when he shows back up in Furious 7 and F9, since he was in Tokyo for High School and only about six or seven years have passed in story time. Just, uh, go with it.
But what about the 2019 spin-off Hobbs and Shaw? Fans may have some questions after watching F9, particularly when it comes to three members of the titular Shaw family: Deckard, his brother Owen (Luke Evans), and their mother Magdalene (Helen Mirren). In Fate of the Furious, which was released in 2017, all three of them are alive and well. Dom helped break Owen out of jail so that Magdalene, aka Queenie, could help him with a heist. Deckard joined too, much to the chagrin of fans who never forgot that Deckard killed Han (or at least attempted to, as we now know).
In Hobbs and Shaw, Queenie is in jail and Deckard makes an off-hand reference to having killed his brother... excuse me? Queenie is supposed to have broken out of jail at the end of Hobbs and Shaw, so the fact that she's very much not incarcerated in F9 doesn't raise eyeballs as far as the timeline goes. What is strange is the fact that she asks Dom if he's looking for one of her sons — plural. So, is there another Shaw son that Dom has met wandering around out there, or does Hobbs and Shaw take place in the future? Make it make sense!
Based on some dates that show up in the film, as catalogued by Insider, Hobbs and Shaw takes place in the year 2022, which is our future. Insider also points out that F9 was originally supposed to come out before Hobbs and Shaw. Deckard also makes an off-hand reference to killing Han in Hobbs and Shaw, and in F9's end credits scene Deckard learns that Han is alive. Well, well, well.
It stands to reason that Hobbs and Shaw takes place between F9 and that end credits scene. And while it's a mere timeline detail, it's a little exciting because there is a mysterious villain in Hobbs and Shaw who many have theorized could be Han. At the very least, the F9 end credits teases a showdown between Han and Deckard in whatever movie comes next. (Never thought you'd have Fast and Furious fan theories, did you?)
What does seems almost certain is that another time jump has happened right under our noses. We'll just have to wait for the next Fast Saga movie (which I will refer to as Fas10 Your Seatbelts until further notice) or Hobbs & Shaw 2 for confirmation.