By Andy Powers, Staff Writer

May you rest in peace, Paul Walker./PHOTO VIA Wikimedia Commons

If Paul Walker, star of the action-packed “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, had arrived on the scene a few decades ago, his death might have even been considered cool.  It seems like the James Dean estate milked out all the cool there is to be had in a high-speed death.

“The Fast and the Furious” movies are a celebration of what some consider “cool.” The franchise never concerned itself with pedestrian issues like plot or character development. Instead the movies let us escape to a world of beautiful people doing beautiful things with beautiful cars and sweet, sweet nitrous oxide. “The Fast and the Furious” movies were one of the last bastions of unadulterated fun on film.

Paul Walker’s character was so damn cool that you couldn’t help but rev your engine as you left the theater parking lot. Nothing made you feel more connected to humanity than seeing another idiot doing the same in his Camry two spaces over. If that isn’t a legitimate role of cinema, then what is wrong with our culture?

James Dean may have his poster in half the dorm rooms across the country, but no one has the patience to actually make it through “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Even after doing the same thing for 10 years, Paul Walker brought in nearly $800 million last spring with “Fast & Furious 6.”  Who is the real movie star?  If there’s any justice in the world, the release of “Fast & Furious 7” this summer will prove that we still have room for cool.