Okay, while due to Paul Walker's death I very likely won't be seeing the eighth movie, there kind of are some thoughts about it that still keep creeping into my mind, and that sometimes I keep thinking that maybe it's time Universal ended the series. Not because of Paul Walker, but there are some other factors:
Welp, mainly the whole family thing. I think the family was at its largest (10-11) in Fast Five - Dom, Brian, Mia, Rome, Tej, Vince, Han, Gisele, Tego, Rico, and to some extent Hobbs and Elena. Except that even as far as the first movie, the writers have killed/written off characters without regarding the consequences.
First Jesse being killed - then Leon disappearing - and seeing that Johnny Strong hasn't really done much since 2001
, it'd be doubtable to see him return. But then again, someone mentioned that, as Mia said in the first movie that she, Dom, Letty and Vince grew up together, whilst Leon and Jesse "just kinda showed up one night and never left", which may bit of be that while Leon and Jesse were family, it's a bit like they didn't have that strong bond with Dom as Letty and Vince. Welp, the original crew was 6 (7 including Brian), which now scattered, plus one (or two) written off for good.
Then after the second movie, Suki again disappears for good - and for Devon Aoki having been inactive since 2009
, we most likely can also count out her coming back. The Miami crew would have 5 members - Brian, Roman, Tej, Suki and Jimmy - and now down to four. Well, three, since Jimmy was briefly seen in the 6th movie beginning, but isn't likely gonna return as a main one.
(Skipping third movie here, and going to fourth - chronological order) Dom now returns with Han (who doesn't come to the main game), Tego and Rico, and Letty - who gets written off. Then Brian and Mia, and Gisele come to the play. So now that's six of them.
Fifth movie - they get the different teams (1st (Dom, Brian, Mia, Vince), 2nd (Rome, Tej), 4th (Han, Tego, Rico, Gisele)) together - up to 10, Vince gets killed > down to 9. Hobbs and Elena join, up to 11.
Sixth movie - Tego and Rico have split from the team; Mia and Elena don't join the team in London, but are replaced with Riley - it's 8 now - Dom, Brian, Rome, Tej, Han, Gisele, Hobbs, Riley. In the end, Letty "awakens from the dead" and comes back, but... Riley reveals herself as traitor and is killed, Gisele sacrifices herself for Han, and Han in the end goes to Tokyo, and is killed. Team's down to 6.
Third movie - explaining the bits with seventh.
Seventh movie - Han's dead, Hobbs is down for the time being, Mia doesn't join the team again, Sean is briefly seen, but doesn't join the team - it's down to five currently - Dom, Brian, Letty, Rome, Tej. Then Ramsey comes to play, and Hobbs is finally back in the game. Only that Brian retires now. Bringing the family to 7.( 8th movie spoilers hereCollapse )
So, basically of the "core" main ones, currently only Dom, Letty, Rome and Tej can be listed as "active". And Hobbs. Not only was Paul Walker's death - thus Brian's retirement -, but also the deaths of the family members have been a major blow to the crew dynamics. And it's a bit doubtful of how the 4-5 of them can hold down the fort between themselves. And bringing any new characters to the family wouldn't work for me now - for the series has deviated too much from classic racing of 1st-3rd movies to the current "vehicular warfare", it's gonna be hard and implausible to run the new additions through the "Toretto Vehicular Warfare School" in (less than half) of a movie.