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(WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Fast & Furious films, read at your own discretion)
When it came to the announcement of another installment in the #FastAndFurious franchise, some fans were skeptical of where the plot would go after the story seemingly concluded in Furious 7. The heroes rode off into the sunset while the criminals were jailed and everyone lived happily ever after — so it seemed. But the Fast and Furious franchise isn't quite done just yet, with #FateOfTheFurious beginning a whole new saga.
Ever since the trailer debuted we've learned that a new story is being spun off of Vin Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto. Apparently, Toretto isn't a hero anymore and he's gone dark for some reason. In the trailer we can see that he's associated with the new villain, Cipher, played by Charlize Theron. And the two are out for blood — the blood of Toretto's old team.
We can also see that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is now teaming up with special agent Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) after Hobbs is arrested. Deckard Shaw was the villain of Furious 7 and was jailed at its conclusion. Now, it appears as if Hobbs has to break Shaw out of prison for his help.
Why Has Dominic Toretto Turned On His Friends And Family?
The final segments of the trailer depict Deckard Shaw alongside Toretto's old crew as they prepare to apprehend Dominic Toretto. Toretto can be seen in full riot gear ready to attack his former comrades, so it's not likely he's going to go easy. Hopefully Hobbs and the team are able to bring Toretto in without killing him.
How Could Dominic Toretto Abandon Letty?
Dominic Toretto has been loyal to his friends and family since he first appeared on the big screen in Fast And The Furious, so for Toretto to change all of a sudden, something traumatic must have happened for Toretto to completely forgot where his allegiances lie.
The two were seen finally coming together at the end of Furious 7 but they're not even in good company with each other anymore. Toretto could have his reasons for turning on Hobbs and the rest of the team but for Toretto to turn on Letty, there's something more to what's going on with Dominic.
Considering the massive change in character, it's reasonable to assume that Toretto could be under the influence of various types of coercion or manipulation, in which he's forced to obey all commands or face serious consequences. Or, it's possible the explanation will be a bit more complex than we think. Here are a few possible reasons why Dominic Toretto has decided to turn on his old team and become a bad guy.
Death In The Family
It's obvious that Paul Walker's character Brian O'Connor has been written out of the Fast and Furious universe, but it appears as if his wife Mia might meet her death as well. Jordana Brewster played Mia Toretto in the previous installments of the series and might return just to be killed off, beocming the motivational push behind why Dominic Toretto changes sides.
There's a good chance that Cipher will convince Dominic Toretto that his team is responsible for the deaths of Mia, Brian, and their baby (off-screen). At which point, Toretto would see no other option than to seek revenge on those responsible for their deaths, even if the people responsible are his old teammates.
Cipher Manipulating Dominic Toretto
It's unlikely that it'll come down to a revenge plot between Dominic Toretto and his team, so it's much more plausible for Toretto to be under some form of manipulation. The most logical explanation is that Dominic Toretto's sister, Mia, is being held captive until Dominic completes a mission given to him by Cipher.
Holding Mia hostage would give Dominic enough reason to visibly turn on his old team to keep her safe. Charlize Theron's villain Cipher doesn't look like she needs to convince Dominic Toretto to go along with her plan so she's probably the one holding Mia hostage.
Cipher's plan is of great interest too because she sends Dominic Toretto on missions but he doesn't kill his old teammates. Yes, Dominic cripples their cars and stops them from pursuing, but he doesn't kill them.
It's possible Cipher has given Toretto a target to assassinate and his old team is standing in his way. That explanation would give some context to why Dominic Toretto "appears" to be trying to kill his old team in the trailer.
Another possible explanation is that Dominic Toretto is under some form of mind control. There's no evidence suggesting any science fiction elements existing within the Fast and Furious universe but a form of mind control could be introduced without too much backlash from fans.
Considering how Vin Diesel's character has undergone such a massive change since Furious 7, the idea of mind control is starting to seem believable. There's also the matter of Cipher potentially being the person in control of Toretto since she's seen alongside Toretto in several scenes of the trailer.
An even more convoluted explanation as to why Toretto has apparently become a villain could include someone masquerading as Toretto while the real one is either dead or being held prisoner somewhere. Face masks and impersonating other characters wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility, either. The person we think is Dominic Toretto could, in fact, be someone in a mask. Vin Diesel could be playing a doppelgänger of his character, Dominic Toretto and we wouldn't know the difference until the movie premieres.