Nearly six years after the tragic death of Paul Walker, there remain hints the actor will appear, somehow, in the next Fast & Furious instalment, Furious 9.
While I can understand the reluctance to truly let his character Brian OConnor drift off into the abyss, enough is enough – we need to let Paul Walker and the memory of his character rest in peace before we ruin it altogether.
The star was tragically killed in a car crash on 30 November 2013, at the age of 40. At the time Fast & Furious 7 hadnt yet been finished, so the decision was made to write Brians ending into the script using GCI and the involvement of Pauls brothers Cody and Caleb to create our last look at his story.
He had a fitting ending, an important tribute to both Paul and the character as he drove alongside Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). It made sense. It wasnt sappy nor overly dramatic.
We were more than okay with the way it was handled, and we knew it had come a time where Brians story had ended. Cue ugly tears every time we hear Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puths See You Again.
So why are there still conversations about bringing him back for Furious 9?
His brother Cody teased a possible return for the character, long after fans, albeit reluctantly at the time, bid him adieu.
You know theres a lot of things that are said about the franchise, theres a lot of rumours going around, he told Metro.co.uk recently.
I think anything is possible and well see what the future has in store.
Sure, I can understand why many would not want to let Paul go, but the franchise owes it not only to the actor but to the fans to not overdo the memory. Leave him be.
I was nervous when the last film set up a return of sorts when in response to Doms apparent turn to the dark side, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) said that Brian would know what to do.
Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) replied: We cant bring Brian and Mia into this. We agreed on that.
Yeah, guys, we agreed on this.
A return was mildly unnecessary back then, but now its just ridiculous and seemingly serves no purpose other than a play to make more money at the box office.
The work of CGI, and Pauls brothers, to create his fitting finale back in 2015 was a perfect ending to a heartbreaking death. It serves not only Brians story arc but it means fans werent left hanging with unfinished business.
Everything was wrapped up in a neat little package. His memory even continued after Dom named his kid Brian at the end of the eighth movie. What more could we possibly want?
How will the Furious franchise bring Paul back in a way that isnt obscenely gratuitous? I want to believe it could happen, but Im afraid its verging on the soap opera.
By continuing to bring back a character we long said goodbye to, very emotionally, may we add, were only prolonging the trauma of losing one of the franchises biggest stars.
We can keep Pauls candle burning in so many other ways that arent risking the final memory we have of him on screen.
What if Furious 9 tanks and the last memory you have of Paul Walker ruins the perfection we got four years ago?
Much like those ageing singers that just dont know when to quit, embarking on farewell tour/comeback tour/farewell tour after farewell tour (Elton John, youre the exception – you can keep touring as long as you want) showbiz needs to know when youre flogging a horse that just doesnt want to race.