According to critics who have already seen Captain Marvel, the '90s-set movie is an absolute blast, but let's face it: We're all really just curious about the cat, right? Well, some of us are! Goose the Cat is straight from the comics, but his original name was Chewie, named after the famous Star Wars character. The filmmakers opted to go for a Top Gun reference for the cat's name, which they did to tie the cat a bit more to Captain Marvel's past.
Just the idea of having a reference that would have been so specific to Carol Danvers’ past, as her past in the movie itself being a pilot in the 1980s when Top Gun was out and having a reference that felt a little bit more specific to her. Whereas Chewie, when the comics were being written, was a very specific reference in time but now with all the movies out it feels more contemporary and not so specific to her past.
In the comic books, Carol Danvers has a cat named Chewie. The cat is obviously named after Chewbacca, which makes sense because Carol is usually spending a lot of time in space and she keeps the cat with her. However, Chewie doesn't really work as a name for her movie cat, and the filmmakers decided that they needed to change.
Co-director Anna Boden told Collider that part of the reason for the name change to Goose was so that they could better tie the cat to her past. Goose is a reference to Top Gun, the ultimate pilot movie. Top Gun was out during the '80s when Carol was an Air Force pilot, so it's a more specific reference to her tastes and past.
Additionally, Chewie is kind of distracting. As co-director Ryan Fleck pointed out, Star Wars movies are everywhere these days, and they wanted to move away from that. Chewie evokes a certain nostalgia, and while the '90s setting no doubt indulges a fair bit in that, the movie just wanted to shy away from the name.
Plus -- in this writer's opinion -- Goose is just a better name.
That mystery is solved, but we're not done with this cat yet! In the comics, the cat isn't a cat at all. He's just an alien species that looks and acts like a cat, but on the inside, it has a whole bunch of tentacles that come out its mouth. We'll have to wait and see if the movie decided to keep that not-so-little detail.