star wars, James Bond, Spider Man — The key to almost every major franchise is its recognizable music. But for a multi-billion dollar franchise, the fast and roaring doesn’t appear to have any recognizable theme music. This isn’t to say the franchise hasn’t tried. Composer Brian Tyler has been a consistent part of film scoring. But instead of focusing on the score, the Fast the film has emphasized many of the hip-hop and R&B songs featured on its soundtrack from artists such as Ludacris (who plays Tej), Tyre (who plays Roman), and Pitbull, among many others. Because of this rotating band of artists and scattered music, some people might not think so star wars or Mission Impossible, Fast Saga doesn’t have a proper theme yet. But Angry 7“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth now, more than ever, presents himself as the franchise’s unofficial theme song, appearing both as a song and as part of the score of several films. “See you soon” isn’t just a nice tribute to Paul Walker but also the perfect mix of music and lyrics that ultimately captures the family theme of the franchise.


“See You Again” Is a Swan Song for Paul Walker

Paul Walker CGI in emotional release in Furious 7
Image via Universal Pictures

When Paul Walker died in 2013, the cast and crew Angry 7 took a break from filming and then production stopped, rightfully so. Not only do they need time to grieve but they also need to make sure that Paul Walker is their last Fast and full of energy movies will be the best. After all, it will not only be a swan song for the actor, but will also be Dominic Toretto’s last screen appearance (Win Diesel) right hand, Brian O’Conner. With the help of the Walker brothers and digital special effects, director James Wan able to finish the film. In addition to its own production, part manufacture Angry 7 credit to the character and the late actor was the search for a song that would play at the end of the film and would later become the lead single from the film’s soundtrack. Enter Charlie Puth, who played a key role in composing the music for “See You Again”.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Charlie Puth explained how he and Wiz Khalifa surprisingly beat “hundreds of submissions” for the coveted position. Puth first wrote the song with DJ Frank E and he talks about their collaboration and how the song’s famous piano chord came about: “We were just getting to know each other and he came up with these chords. I was like, ‘Shall we play this on the piano instead?’ And those are the chords to ‘See You Again.’” Years later, those few notes on the piano still evoke the same sentimental feelings and associations with Paul Walker and Fast franchise. Additionally, while Puth had only intended to write the song for another artist to sing along on the chorus, he was eventually asked to continue recording the song in addition to writing it. He told People magazine, “I [recorded the track] as a reference vocal for Sam Smith to potentially sing. On the other hand, Sam Smith had to write and perform “Writing’s On the Wall” for Specter in the same year as the release Angry 7.

After Puth and Frank E’s composition was shot for the film, Wiz Khalifa was also asked to join the song, but it would not be his first feature in a Fast and full of energy soundtracks. He also co-wrote and performed “We Own It (Fast & Furious)” for Fast & Furious 6. For “See you soon”, Khalifa looked at the key message and mantra of “family” at the center of the franchise. He told MTV News, “I basically think about what the movie means as far as family and brotherhood.” Of course, Wiz Khalifa’s intentions are clearly present in the song with lyrics like “How can we not talk about family when family is all we have?” The song is also more than just a thematic accompaniment to the film. Khalifa wanted “See You Again” to be about grief and continued to use the “last ride and last race metaphor” in the lyrics.

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s efforts to put together “See You Again” were an immediate success. But more important than the number of records it breaks is the song’s tribute to the late Paul Walker. “See You Again” was played to the end Angry 7 in a montage of several of Walker’s appearances as Brian O’Conner throughout the franchise. The ending also features Vin Diesel’s Dominick Torreto driving one last time with his former enemy and his now found family and brother. “[The song] doesn’t make you feel like you’ve left a funeral,” Charlie Puth explains to EW, “It’s incredibly uplifting and motivating. Paul’s legacy will live on.” “To have the responsibility of making a Paul Walker record is just plain stupid,” Khalifa also told MTV News.

“See You Again” Is the Theme Song for the Fast & Furious Franchise

Just as Paul Walker’s legacy will forever be associated with the song, “See You Again” will also be associated with the song as a whole fast and roaring franchise. In 2020 (before the pandemic and lockdown), F9 held a concert ahead of the release of its first trailer. Among his many musical guests were certainly Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth who performed “See You Again” in front of a live audience in Miami, Florida. More clips of Paul Walker were projected onto a screen behind them while many of the audience joined in to sing along – many are still visibly moved by the tributes years after Walker’s death. With F9 marketed as part of the “Fast Saga”, the inclusion of “See You Again” in the film’s promotion shows how the film has surpassed its debut in Angry 7. This is more than just an end credits song and a tribute to Paul Walker. “See You Again” is now the franchise’s anthem.

This is even more evident in the latest entry in the franchise X fast. In the first fifteen minutes of the film, we meet Dominick Toretto and the rest of the Fast family. Having had brief memories with the now “resurrected” Han (Sung Kang), Dom looks through photos of his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), his sister Mia (Jordan Brewster), and of course his brother-in-law Brian, among many others. During this trip down memory lane, the instrumental snippet of “See You Again” plays appropriately – piano notes that Charlie Puth was so excited about. X fast full of images and moments from the franchise’s past, particularly from the perspective of Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa). But Dom also flashes back to all the adventures he and his family discover they’ve been through. Therefore, some of these instrumental notes from “See You Again” also evoke nostalgia for the history of the franchise that never existed before. While Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner is still firmly entrenched in the song, it also represents the entire Fast Saga.

Like everything else about the franchise, “See You Again” represents the theme of family and how no one person can stand alone. This goes for the songwriting as well, as Charlie Puth, DJ Frank E, and Wiz Khalifa perform a truly sentimental and satisfying swan song for Paul Walker. But they may also accidentally write fast and roaring theme song. While the franchise isn’t necessarily known for its cohesive storytelling, “See You Again” ultimately helped unify the franchise through music.

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