The loss of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker devastated millions after he was reported to have passed away in a car crash on November 30, 20213. Walker’s Porsche — driven by professional driver Roger Rodas — crashed in Los Angeles, Calif. after traveling at 100mph. The death was a result of the Porsche burning, inflicting traumatic and thermal injuries on Walker and Rodas. The news came as a heartbreaking shock to anyone who knew of Walker from his Furious fame, and series co-star Vin Diesel still fondly remembers Walker as not just a colleague, but as a friend.
Vin Diesel took to Instagram to remember Walker on his birthday with a simple message and a screenshot of the two sharing a scene, where Walker fondly gazes upon Vin Diesel. The tribute is touching, and the caption still captures the relationship that the two shared. When Walker passed, the seventh Fast and Furious movie was still shooting. No trace of alcohol or drugs was found in either party’s system after the crash. The film was later released in 2015.
Vin Diesel received an outpouring of support on his memorial post. Furious fans chimed in with their condolences and by commenting the word “family,” the most popular theme that runs throughout the Furious franchise. Others expressed that they too missed Walker. Walker’s brother, Cody, praises Vin Diesel for continuing to honor him. He said that Vin Diesel and the Furious family have done a “good job” of letting Walker’s Furious character “ride tastefully into the sunset.” He said that Vin Diesel has taken a serious approach to safeguarding Walker’s legacy and that there is always the intention to keep the actor in the spotlight with every Furious movie that is released.
Walker starred in six of the first seven movies from the popular franchise and appeared alongside Vin Diesel in five of them. Walker’s two brothers stepped up as stand-ins for Walker in order for Furious 7 to complete filming. Diesel values the importance of what the Furious films meant to Walker. He reflects on a moment where he and his late co-star walked into a bodega together, and other customers automatically referred to them as their characters. Walker told Vin Diesel being referred to with his character’s names was one of his favorite things about working on the Furious films. Diesel told Best of Life that Walker was immensely proud of creating such an iconic character.
Vin Diesel claims that Walker has been sending him messages after being laid to rest and that it was Walker who encouraged him to seek out John Cena to play his character’s on-screen brother. Cena went all in and understood the responsibility that was required when he was asked to take on the role. As for Cena’s return to further Furious films, there may need to be a little more intervention from Walker to keep him around. During the lead up to F9, Cena said he wasn’t allowing himself to think ahead to future films.