‘Mad Max’ Recap Before ‘Furiosa’: What Happens In ‘Fury Road’?

Mad Max is a staple name that comes to mind whenever action movies are discussed, and reasonably so. As director George Miller’s epic dystopian movie series has inspired numerous creators, it has revitalized the landscape of the action genre. In the course of four movies, the series has also introduced some of the most iconic characters in pop fiction, namely the titular protagonist, the cop turned vagabond drifter, Max Rockatansky, and the more intriguing, fierce warrior-survivor protagonist of Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa. Portrayed by an impeccable Charlize Theron, who delivered an unforgettable performance as the rugged survivor, Furiosa was quickly recognized as the definitive female action hero of the last decade. 


Even keeping aside the extremely strong response from the audience, there was more than enough of a backstory hinted at for Furiosa as a character in Fury Road and enough curiosity regarding her origin to warrant a solo movie of her own. Finally, with the upcoming Furiosa, a prequel to Fury Road, viewers will see Furiosa return to the silver screen as her past gets explored in a trademark high-octane action-packed adventure, with Furiosa now being played by Anya Taylor Joy. Before watching the movie in theaters, some key points about the character need to be kept in mind to be able to better relate to the character.

Furiosa: The Vuvalini and Green Place

Despite having Max as the titular protagonist, Fury Road was thoroughly driven by Furiosa, with her motivation acting as the catalyst to trigger a chain of events that led to the central conflict. In the distant future, the entire world will have turned into a wasteland in the aftermath of ecological collapse, and water will be the most precious resource. Set against such a backdrop, the ecofeminist commentary of the creators is primarily conveyed through Furiosa and the female characters associated with her. In her younger days, Furiosa was raised among an all-female survivor community known as the Vuvalini, or the Many Mothers. The community lived in the Green Place, a pristine oasis amidst the wasteland that had remained unaffected by the destructive influences of mankind. However, later, Furiosa and her warrior mother, Jabassa, were abducted by an invading biker gang, getting separated from their homeland and community as a result. In captivity, Furiosa watched her mother get killed by their captors, which marked a momentous shift in her life. The upcoming Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will focus on this part of her life up to the point she gets recruited by the megalomaniac tyrant warlord of the wasteland, Immortan Joe.


Becoming the Imperator: Freeing the five wives and liberating the Citadel

After growing up and learning the ways of the world, Furiosa traveled to one of the last human settlements—the Citadel, ruled with absolute lawlessness at the hands of Immortan Joe. The tyrant leader asserted his dominance by forcing five women to be part of his harem and exploiting them as his sex slaves, or ‘Breeders’. The women later came to be known as the ‘Five Wives of the Citadel’ and assigned to increase the numbers of his lackey warrior clan, the Warboys. After Furiosa was brought to Joe, he intended to make her his wife as well, but due to her infertility, Furiosa was spared such a fate. Instead, on Joe’s command, one of his generals trained Furiosa in the art of warfare, and Furiosa proved to be an exceptional warrior in her own regard. Later, with the general’s death, Furiosa takes his place and quickly becomes one of Joe’s strongest and most trusted commanders, earning the title of Imperator Furiosa. 

The abysmal condition of Joe’s wives moved a battle-hardened Furiosa, with whom she gradually formed a bond. Furiosa later planned to rescue them and take them back to her homeland, the Green Place, to provide them with a second chance in life. As she orchestrates her escape plan, the drifter Max Rockatansky unwittingly gets entangled in her pursuit, along with a warboy named Nux. Both of them later agree to help Furiosa and aid her multiple times to evade Joe and his associates. Furiosa finally meets up with the remaining members of Vuvalini, only to get distraught after knowing that the Green Place has ceased to exist. Taking Max’s suggestion, Furiosa heads back to the Citadel and faces Joe for one last time, where Furiosa manages to kill Joe once and for all. Nux sacrifices his life while protecting them, and as Furiosa and her group liberate the Citadel, Max takes his leave as well. 


What Should Viewers Expect In 2024 Film?

The upcoming movie will focus on the coming-of-age phase in Furiosa’s life, her formative years, where sordid experiences shaped the course of her destiny to become a battle-weary, tactical leader. As the trailer reveals, her journey will be charted right from her childhood spent in the Green Place—being raised by her mother and members of Vuvalini. Furiosa’s upbringing contributed to her worldview in a significant way, which is why later in her life she decides to take up the role of saving Joe’s wives, motivated by her own altruistic perspective. Dementus, the sadistic biker gang leader who abducted her and her mother, will serve as an antagonist figure in the movie, and actor Chris Hemsworth is looking every bit as menacing as any iconic Mad Max villain should. Furiosa’s ties with Immortan Joe will gain some attention as well, as a younger version of the wasteland despot will appear in the movie, along with his psychotic elder son, Rictus Erectus. 

Quite expectedly, connections with a larger world will be addressed through familiar settings and characters; we might even expect a cameo by Max Rockatansky as well. In the series timeline, Imperator Furiosa is alive, which means the prequel has the chance to set up a future storyline for the character, which takes place after the liberation of the Citadel. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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