- "It's not the ride, it's the rider."
- ―Sean to Cindy
Sean Boswell an American-expat living in Tokyo, Japan. The protagonist of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Sean is a trouble maker with a talent for auto mechanics who makes friends with Twinkie, Neela Ezar and Han Seoul-Oh, the latter of whom becomes his mentor. Sean and his friends eventually relocate to Germany where they are employed to build rocket engines for the military. During that time he builds a rocket-powered Pontiac Fiero which is used by Dominic Toretto's Crew.
Sean Boswell was born and raised in Alabama, U.S. When Sean was three, his mother and father divorced, his father leaving his mother to raise him on her own. When he got his drivers license, he received a speeding ticket the same day. Following his speeding violation, Sean won his first race the day after. During his teenage years, Sean became a nuisance to his high schools and to the local authorities, and his mother had to relocate to different cities and states with him every time he had got into trouble.
When Sean prepares to depart from school, he decides to speak to Cindy, Clay's girlfriend, who was admiring his car, a white 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Clay, taking offense that Sean is speaking to his girlfriend, doubly insults his car and rattles off the specifications of his car, a 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10. Sean, unimpressed by Clay's posturing, sarcastically remarks that Clay can "read a brochure" and gets in his car. Pulling out of the parking lot, the back window of his car is damaged by a baseball thrown by Clay.
Taking offense, Sean steps out of his car to confront Clay, who advances with his friends, but Sean pulls a wrench, prompting Clay and his team to halt. Cindy, however, suggests a better alternative: A race where the winner gets Cindy as the prize. Sean obliges the terms and when the two race, Sean only faces minor complications during the competition from Clay's friends and minor manoeuvres from Clay himself.
When Sean gains a lead on Clay, he flirts with Cindy, who decides Sean is taking her to the prom. In a fit of rage, Clay causes both of their cars to crash when he runs Sean off the road. Sean's Monte Carlo is sent into a tumble that destroys the frame. Sean, Clay and Cindy survive their accidents with minor injuries.
At the police station, Sean is bailed out of trouble by his mother. However, deciding not to deal with moving again, she sends him to Tokyo, Japan, to live with his father, a U.S. Naval officer stationed there. When he arrives, his father establishes the stipulations of his staying with him clear: Sean follows his rules and does not participate any races or he goes to jail.
The following day, Sean travels through the city to get to school. He arrives late and experiences complications with communicating with his teacher, who wanted him to change his shoes. At lunch, a boy named Twinkie befriends him after attempting to sell Jordans and a laptop to him. Sean takes an interest in Twinkie's Sparco racing wheel, and Twinkie decides to show him his car, a Hulk themed Volkswagen Touran.
When Twinkie takes him to an illegal street race at a Car Park, Sean decides to speak with Neela, unaware she is the Drift King's girlfriend. When Takashi confronts him, Sean challenges him to a race and Takashi agrees when Han (Takashi's business partner) gives him the keys to his Nissan Silvia Spec-S S15, knowing he will beat him. Twinkie gives Sean a crash course lesson on Drifting, but to no avail. When Sean engages Takashi in a race, he is unable to drift properly and destroys Han's car.
Later that night, his father suspects Sean has been racing when he returns home late and decides to call his mother and send him back to the States. When Sean calls him on his bluff, the senior Boswell is quick to remind his son that he has nowhere to go if he continues to disobey him. The next day, Han has Sean become his personal errand boy, due to the fact that Sean is in his debt. His first job is to retrieve money from "a guy with a paw", which after numerous tries, the sumo man relents. Afterward, after meeting with Takashi and Morimoto, Han shows Sean his garage and gives him a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. Han becomes Sean's friend as well as his mentor, taking him under his wing and teaching him how to drift.
As Sean progressively improves with each lesson, he grows closer to Neela. When he finally asks her about drifting, the two get together and have dinner. Neela divulges her life story to him and Sean similarly admits that his upbringing was troubled as well, mostly on account on him. Neela takes him outside the city and shows him her drifting skills as she shares more of her childhood.
Sean's night out with Neela makes more of an enemy out of Takashi, who warns him to stay away from her. Following her fight with Takashi, Neela decides to stay at Han's garage with Sean and the others. When Takashi learns that Han has been stealing money from him, he sets off a chain of events that forces Sean, Twinkie, Neela and Han to run from him. Sean and Neela race through the streets of Tokyo, trying to keep up with Han while evading Takashi and Morimoto.
The two are eventually clipped from behind by oncoming traffic and crash. When Han finally catches up to them, his Mazda RX-7 is T-boned by another car. Sean races to get Han out of the wreck when his car explodes. Neela drags him away from the scene and the two take the subway to safety.
Sean returns home in the hopes of getting help from his father, but Takashi arrives and threatens to kill both of them. Despite the assistance from his father, Neela goes with Takashi to avoid any bloodshed. Sean meets up with Twinkie again, and decides the answer to his problems is to speak with Takashi's uncle, Kamata, a member of the Yakuza. He returns the money that Han stole from Kamata and asks him if he and his nephew can settle their differences in a race.
When Sean and his friends arrive at the garage, they find the police have cleared out all of the cars except the ruined Nissan Silvia. Using the engine from the Nissan, they restore Lieutenant Boswell's 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback and Sean uses it to race Takashi down the mountain outside the city, winning when Takashi accidently crashes his car. Following his victory, Sean is crowned the new Drift King. At the parking garage where the illegal street races are held, Twinkie informs Sean that a man who beat "everybody around Asia" wants to meet and race him. Initially, Sean refuses the invitation to race the man, but Twinkie makes a point of clarifying that the man knew Han and considered him "family".
Curious, Sean accepts and decides to meet the man, Dominic Toretto. Sean compliments Dominic's car, a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, and Dominic explains that he won the car from Han. Sean is surprised that Han was into American muscle, but Dominic says Han did when he was part of his crew. The two then proceed to race.
After Sean and Dominic race, Sean compliments Dominic's speed, surprised that American muscle cars could drift. Sean gives Dominic what they could recover from Han's RX-7, which included a picture of Gisele Yashar, Han's lover, and Dominic's cross necklace.
When Sean asked what Dominic intended on doing to the man responsible for Han's death, Dominic merely states that there weren't words invented for what he planned on doing.
Since the events of Tokyo Drift, Twinkie has found a way to make money by building cars for the Government and him, Earl and Sean have since taken residence in Germany where they do this. Whilst working on a Pontiac Fiero with an attached rocket engine, they are met by Roman Pearce and Tej Parker who have been sent by Dom as they can supply them with weapons, gear and cars.
The trio show off their rocket powered Fiero and then give a demonstration by having it race a MiG-15 fighter jet that is departing from the military base close by. The trio celebrate that the car works, despite it not beating the plane, however the car then blows up.
When Roman and Tej need to travel to outer space to destroy Otto's satellite, they meet with Sean and Earl again who have since rebuilt the Fiero and after running simulations they attach the car to a plane, flown by Sean, and get it up to 50,000 feet where they launch the car into orbit.
When the gang returns to Los Angeles, the trio join them and sit down to a barbecue with them where they learn that Han is still alive. Just as the trio including Han are about to say grace along with the Toretto family, Tej, and Roman, they notice an uncoming car which turns out to be Brian O'Conner, driving a blue Nissan Skyline GT-R to join them.
Prior to going to Japan, Sean appeared to be reclusive and kept mostly to himself. An example of his apathy toward the activities of the student body, particularly football jocks that bully other students, is evident when he chooses to do nothing to help the boy being spray painted by a group of football players who drag him into the back of the car garage Sean is in.
Sean is additionally short tempered and when provoked, will resort to violence to solve his problems. Sean's history as a troublemaker suggests he is not particularly remorseful about his behavior until is he given the ultimatum of prison or Tokyo. When challenged, Sean will rarely back down, but instead talk himself into situations he has little knowledge of.
As a result, he often inadvertently makes enemies. Spending time in the company of Han, however, appears to make his resorting to physical violence to solve problems milder. Sean takes responsibility for his own actions instead of blaming someone else. When confronted by Kamata, he respects his authority and appeals to his mercy instead of making demands.
- Expert Driver: Due to his history, Sean is skilled in driving high performance cars. Although he initially struggled to drift (crashing his car in his first race doing so) he was mentored by Han, who improved his skill level. Through such training, he became skilled enough to become the "Drift King" of Tokyo, besting the former king (Takashi) and was skilled enough to retain the title when Dominic Torreto challenged him, though he implied it was a close race.
- Combatant: He also had some skill in physical combat, able to easily knock Takashi down when the later tried to stop him from fleeing in his car. He was beaten in their first altercation, with Takashi knocking him down in a single punch and beating him up, Sean unable to defend himself against the strikes (however it should be noted that he was not aiming to fight back in this scenario).
- Pilot: Sean is seen flying a plane alongside Earl at over 50,000 feet in F9, it is unknown where he picked up these abilities from.
- When Sean is confronted by Takashi, the latter calls him "Gaijin". "Gaijin" is a term used by native Japanese to refer to foreigners in their country.
- Sean's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX can seen in the background before Han's Mazda RX-7 explodes in Fast & Furious 6, but Sean himself does not appear.
- In an early draft of Furious 7, Sean was supposed to have a large role, being a main character and coming to Los Angeles to work with Dom and the crew and joining the family. However, the film was rewritten with Sean being reduced to a cameo.
- Lucas Black reportedly signed a three-film deal with Universal Pictures to reappear in the next series of Fast & Furious films, starting with Furious 7, in late 2013. However, he was unable to appear in The Fate of the Furious, due to scheduling conflicts with NCIS: New Orleans.[note 1]
- Despite playing a 17 year old teenager, Lucas Black was 23 when he first played Sean in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in 2006, even though the movie is set in 2014, putting his birth year as either 1996 or 1997. In Furious 7, released in 2015 (though set in 2014), Black was 32 when he reprised the role playing a 17 year old. The character will return in Fast & Furious 9 and will likely be around 23 or 24 years old, the same age when Black debuted in the franchise in 2006.
- Channing Tatum said in 2016 that he auditioned for the role before it was given to Black.
- Given that Sean's age is never confirmed, it can be assumed that he is around 23-24 in F9 as the events of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, timeline-wise, take place in 2014, 5 years before F9.
|The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift||Chevrolet Monte Carlo|
|Furious 7||Nissan Silvia|
- Black: “They tried to figure out how to get my character back for [Fast] 8, but there was a lot of conflict and schedule with NCIS [New Orleans], because we started back last Thursday on Season 3. So, it didn’t happen this time for Fast & Furious 8, but, maybe they can figure some out for character in number nine. (1:21-to-1:43).”