See Vin Diesel’s Touching Tribute To Paul Walker

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

vin diesel paul walker

The bond between Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner did not stop when the credits for The Fast and the Furious rolled. The lasting friendship between actors Vin Diesel and Paul Walker went beyond the movie and continues today, nine years after Paul Walker’s tragic death. To commemorate the ninth anniversary of this shocking event, Vin Diesel posted a picture of the two actors on his Instagram.

On November 30, 2013, the world was aghast to learn that Paul Walker had been killed in a car accident when a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend Roger Rodas crashed into a light pole at high speed. Paul Walker had built a career and a fan base because of his good looks and charm, as well as by starring alongside Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious as well as four of its sequels. His sixth appearance as the character had already been mostly filmed for Furious 7.

The seventh movie in the franchise wound up being a tribute to both Paul Walker and his character, Brian O’Conner. The theme of the franchise has always been about family and those people we choose to allow into our lives as found family, and the death of Paul Walker elevated this concept into real life for Vin Diesel and the rest of the Fast and Furious cast. The movie was completed using CGI, precision filming and editing, and Paul Walker’s brother Cody as a stand-in.

Movies that re-create deceased actors have sometimes been controversial because some say that it disrespects the actor’s life and legacy. While the use of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars franchise didn’t seem to bother anyone, critics questioned a CGI Sir Lawrence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and an upcoming movie featuring a digital James Dean has also seen pushback from critics and celebrities. However, the use of a CGI Paul Walker in the final moving scene of Furious 7 as he and Vin Diesel have one last drive together gave audiences and fans the closure they needed in a tasteful way that honored the actor through his character.

It also gave the franchise a chance to move on without the shadow of Paul Walker’s death hanging over it. An eighth and ninth film about Vin Diesel’s “crew” were added to the franchise, and Furious X, the tenth installment, is due out in 2023. The franchise also inspired a spin-off movie, Hobbs and Shaw, in which Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have to set aside their past disagreements to team up on a caper of their own.

Although the franchise went on without Paul Walker, none of us would have gotten to know Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto without Brian O’Conner being our window into the street racer’s life and family. It is clear that Vin Diesel considers Paul Walker to be a part of his own family and misses his friend from the popular movie franchise. It is also very clear that Paul Walker is alive and well in the memories of the people who loved him.