Family, friends and fans connected to the Fast & Furious film franchise are doing their best to keep Paul Walker’s legacy alive, and in the forefront of their hearts and minds.
And on Saturday, just days after marking eight years since the leading man’s tragic death, brother Cody Walker hosted his annual FuelFest festival in Phoenix, Arizona, which is a gathering of fast cars and music enthusiasts.
During all the festive, high-octane fun, Cody had an emotional reunion with his older brother’s Furious co-star and very close friend, Vin Diesel.
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Cody Walker and Vin Diesel hug it out at the annual FuelFest festival in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday
The FuelFest event comes just days after family, friends, and fans marked eight years since Paul Walker was killed in a fiery car crash in Southern California
Fans who couldn’t make it in person were able to get a glimpse at the festival and their heartfelt reunion with some photos and videos that were posted on Instagram.
In one lovely snap, Cody and Vin (born Mark Sinclair) share an emotional hug that could pull at the heartstrings of any breathing human.
‘8 years later. Thank you #Phoenix @fuelfest,’ Cody, 33, wrote in the caption in the photo, which shows the back to the camera dressed in a charcoal black t-shirt and baseball cap.
His older brother’s co-star, 54, has his bulging biceps front-and-center in the image, dressed in a sleeveless blacktee and donning stylish sunglasses.
For a good cause: Cody Walker, 33, was overjoyed over the success of FuelFest, which donates part of the proceeds to Reach Out Worldwide, the charity Paul founded, and Cody now serves as CEO
High praise: Diesel, 54, shared how proud his is of Cody for his effort with FuelFest
Fellow Furious cast member Tyrese Gibson was also on hand to lend his support for the event, all while they all remembered Paul Walker, eight years after he was killed in a fiery single-car crash in Valencia, California moments after leaving a charity event with friend Roger Rodas, who was also killed.
‘Family is here at @fuelfest,’ Tyrese, 42, wrote on his Instagram Stories.
A portion of the proceeds from FuelFest will benefit Reach Out Worldwide, the charity Paul founded, and Cody now serves as CEO.
‘I’m here with my brother in FuelFest. It is such an honor to see the whole car culture being brought together by my brother Cody,’ Vin said, as he had his arm around Cody at the crowded Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
He added, ‘I’m so proud of him, and I know my brother Pablo [Paul Walker] is even more proud of him; all love always.’
Love and respect: ‘I’m so proud of him, and I know my brother Pablo [Paul Walker] is even more proud of him; all love always,’ Diesel said of Cody and Paul, who he became close friends with while starring with him in the Fast & Furious franchise since 2001
Family: Fellow Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson was also on hand to lend his support for FuelFest; he is pictured with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in May 2013, six months before Paul’s death
Cody then shared: ‘Thank you all, for everybody that showed up, who showed so much support today. Thank you to my family for showing up in a big way. It’s a huge deal.’
Paul, who was 40-years-old when he died, had been nearing the end of the shoot for Furious 7.
But with scenes still left to be done, Cody and brother Caleb Walker, now 44, stepped into Paul’s role as Brian O’Conner. Along with being doubles for the character, the brothers also provided voiceovers, while other body and stunt doubles and CGI were used to complete the film, which was eventually released in 2015.
The next movie in the film franchise, Fast & Furious 10, is slated to be released in 2023.
Brotherly love: Cody and Caleb Walker stepped into Paul’s role as Brian O’Connor in Furious 7, following his death in a car crash in Valencia, California on November 30, 2013