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I was browsing on Wikipedia and I noticed that the Fast & Furious films have a different chronology that doesn't match their release order. The Tokyo Drift movie, besides being totally different compared to the others, happens way later in the movie timeline.

But why does Fast & Furious have this chronology thing? They're action movies and a lot of people don't watch them for the plot, but for the action scenes, so why haven't they been set in the release order matching the chronology?

  • Because everyone's trying to forget that Tokyo Drift ever happened. – Darrick Herwehe Apr 21 '15 at 12:53
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    @DarrickHerwehe Or because they killed the guy in Tokyo Drift and then needed his character in the other films... – Dave Johnson Apr 21 '15 at 20:57
  • @DaveJohnson I wouldn't know. That's the last one I saw. – Darrick Herwehe Apr 21 '15 at 21:32
  • When you prematurely kill a character that has appeal to your fan base, you get around this by making prequels to your sequel. Hence, Tokyo Drift ended up in the timeline later on, even though it was the 3rd one made. – Johnny Bones Feb 16 '17 at 16:04
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As you already know that the Chronology of Fast & Furious franchise is different from the release order but the reason for it is more complex than the chronology.

  • Tokyo Drift has nothing to do with the first two films.
  • Diesel was hoping to make more films in the Riddick franchise of sci-fi action pictures. To do that, though, he needed to get the rights for the character from Universal, which also produced the Fast & Furious movies. He agreed to cameo at the end of Tokyo Drift — as a promise of his return to the franchise in a fourth film (which eventually happened) — but instead of payment, he asked for the Riddick rights. Universal gave them to him, and another Riddick movie came out in 2013.
  • In the end of Tokyo Drift, when Sean has taken the title of Drift King, he is challenged by a new racer — who turns out to be Dominic, who says Han used to ride with his crew back in the day. (Diesel only make this cameo and its sequel for the deal with universal).
  • Han's character from Tokyo Drift was proved too popular in the audience. And Dominic's conversation with Sean also left a few unanswered questions.
  • Now universal's chance to boost the franchise is by using all this in his favor, they can't resurrect Han but they can make the movie out of the Dominick's and Sean's discussion.

  • And then franchise makes 3 sequels to first two films and prequel to Tokyo Drift. And the last Furious 7 was the sequel to Fast & Furious 6 and Tokyo Drift both to close the non-linear chronology.

Now every production house wants to make more money and Universal obviously got success in doing so. And this non-linear chronology is not so uncommon too. Mid-equal, prequel, and parallel are a way to do this non-linear chronology possible. Example are Star Wars, Saw (where two sequels play in parallel), etc.

Sources: Vox.com

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    This sounds like a perfect fit for some image/graph/timeline, even if it's just crudely drawn. – Mario Apr 21 '15 at 7:09

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