The world has now seen "Furious 7." Literally, the entire world; look at how much money the latest "Fast and Furious" film made in its opening weekend! It's clear that Team Toretto's days are far from finished, even if one key member is now retired.
With Brian O'Connor off the table, and with the appetite for more "Fast and Furious" at an all-time high, it's worth wondering how the franchise can move forward after suffering such an emotional loss. Who can possibly provide Dom Toretto's family with the same heart that Brian and his story brought to the table? Perhaps the answer's right in front of us…
…DSS agent Luke Hobbs.
Up until now, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's criminal-hunting badass, first introduced in "Fast Five" and consistently part of the series ever since, has provided little more than comic relief and huge action-packed moments. But in "Furious 7," we finally caught a glimpse at the heart beneath the Rocky exterior.
In the latest movie, we're introduced to Luke's daughter, Samantha, played by Eden Estrella. She's well-versed in "Fast and Furious" lore, telling Dom that she knows all about the time he got his butt kicked by her dear old dad down in Rio de Janeiro. She hangs out in the hospital with Papa Luke while he recovers from getting his butt kicked in by Deckard Shaw. When Luke decides it's time to go to work, he and Little Miss Hobbs enact their secret handshake: A simple series of three fist-bumps.
In other words, the Hobbs father-daughter duo is an awesome one, and provides the "Fast and Furious" movies with a dynamic we don't have right now. With Brian gone, there's a space for a parent and his/her child to give the family-focused crew a new but familiar emotional center.
It also leaves us wondering where Samantha's mother fits into the picture. Is she still around? Is she deceased? Is she someone we already know, such as...
...Eva Mendes' Monica Fuentes, last seen in the "Fast Five" post-credits scene alongside Luke Hobbs? I'm putting that out there knowing full well that I'm theorizing from behind a tinfoil wheel, but it's an interesting way to reintroduce familiar "Fast and Furious" elements and characters at a time where the franchise's continued future is all but guaranteed, even if its emotional future is much less certain.
Besides, as awesome as he was in his few scenes, Dwayne Johnson's scenes in "Furious 7" were exactly that: Few and far between. He brings an energy and enthusiasm to these movies unmatched by anyone else, and now that Vin Diesel needs a new co-starring wingman, is there anyone better than Johnson to rise the ranks — especially when we now know how much Luke Hobbs stands to lose and gain, in the form of his family?
So, I'm just putting it out there now, while we still wait to see the shape of "Furious 8." If the "Fast and Furious" gatekeepers are looking for a way to revitalize the beating heart of the series, look no further than Luke Hobbs and his family.
(And seriously, put Luke and Monica together. No disrespect to Elena, but I'm officially shipping Lunica — or Muke, if you prefer.)