The Fast & Furious movies have changed dramatically from the series’ origins, and that transformation wouldn’t have worked without the characters of Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). The car action-based Fast Saga is heading into its two-part finale with the currently in-production Fast X as part one of that equation. Even without fully clear information on Fast X’s story and a director swap from Justin Lin to Louis Leterrier following the former’s departure, audiences still have a general idea of how bonkers Fast X will be.
While Tej was first seen setting up street races in 2 Fast 2 Furious, his technological know-how made him instrumental to the team’s Rio De Janeiro heist in Fast Five and beyond. Ramsey entered the story of Furious 7 as the designer of the worldwide tracking tool “God’s Eye.” With the team getting into adventures with more and more doomsday devices, Ramsey’s software expertise became as indispensable as Tej’s tech skills.
Since transitioning into what it is today with Fast Five, the Fast & Furious movies have become increasingly sci-fi and tech-oriented, and the presence of Tej and Ramsey has made that much more easily facilitated. While characters like Vin Diesel’s Dom and his core family can easily adapt their street racing skills to missions they’ve been assigned to, Tej and Ramsey are the more technologically-inclined members of the team led by Dominic Toretto. This makes them essential for the contemporary Fast & Furious movies to function moving forward.
Dom is a capable leader and strategist, but he lacks the tech skills of Tej and Ramsey; while others like Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Han (Sung Kang) are great with cars, they are not really tech geniuses themselves. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) bring muscle and fighting skill to The Fast Saga (or, at least, Hobbs did before The Rock’s feud with Vin Diesel led to his departure), but they also have never shown extraordinary tech skills. Every member of Dom’s crew has a specific role to play, and for Tej and Ramsey, it’s hacking and technological wizardry as the ongoing franchise situations demand.
Of course, Tej, Ramsey, and the Fast & Furious series itself operate completely in pseudo-science; F9 made that more unambiguous than ever with magnet cars and Tej and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) venturing into a space in a rocket car with scuba diver suits. However, the Fast & Furious series operates on very different physical and scientific rules than our own, with Tej and Ramsey being the characters best qualified to navigate the Fast Saga as arguably comic book world.
After over 20 years and counting, the Fast & Furious movies have lasted as long as they do because of the strength of the heroes in absurd circumstances and the role each plays in getting the job done. Tej might not bring Hobbs’ physical strength to the game, and Ramsey, as she sheepishly admits in F9, can’t even drive a car herself, but they’re both the brains of Dom’s family in the Fast & Furious movies, and the series could not work as it does without them.