Since the original film became a massive hit, fans have wanted to see a sequel to Top Gun. That desire has never wavered in nearly 40 years. Even decades later people still talked about another Top Gun, and most importantly one of those people was Tom Cruise. The actor always seemed excited about the possibility of getting back in the cockpit, and now, after so long, it's finally happening.
Fans of the original are certainly going to be quite excited for Top Gun: Maverick and not only because the sequel exists. The new trailer released this morning shows off a bunch of callbacks to the original Top Gun that fans will clearly recognize. It looks like Top Gun: Maverick is going to be hitting that nostalgia button hard. Here are the references we caught.
The trailer for Top Gun: Maverick opens with a voice over telling us just how awesome Tom Cruise's Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick, is. He's one of the finest pilots in the history of the Top Gun program, and the new students should listen, because what he teaches them could save their lives. When the voice mentions the word "death" as a possibility, we get our first look at Miles Teller's character in the new film, which is certainly no accident.
Miles Teller will be playing the son of Anthony Edwards' original character in Top Gun: Maverick. Edwards played Goose, Maverick's RIO, in the original film, who was killed during a terrible training accident. Certainly, Teller's character, who we know has the call sign Rooster, the bid connection is likely no accident either, in the movie, knows all about the dangers of flying. One wonders just how he feels about Maverick these days.
"I'm Gonna Hit the Brakes, He'll Fly Right By"
What made the original Top Gun such a great movie was all the amazing dogfighting action that the movie gave us, in a way that movies had never shown us before. It was incredibly thrilling, and based on the new trailer, Maverick is going to give us more of the same. In fact, so much of it is going to be the same, we even get to see some of Maverick's old tricks.
In the original Top Gun, we see Maverick getting chased by an opponent, and his solution is to essentially slam on his breaks so that the other fighter blows past him, allowing Maverick to come in behind. It seems you can't teach an old dog new tricks, as we apparently see Maverick pull the exact same move here. One wonders if in the past 30 plus years, somebody might have found a strategy to deal with this move.
There are a couple of great musical moments in the original Top Gun. The first is when Maverick does a full performance of "She's Lost That Loving Feeling" in an attempt to impress a girl at a bar, who turns out to be a lot more than just a girl at a bar. The other, comes later, and show's Goose playing "Great Balls of Fire" on a piano in a bar. By the end of the scene, he's joined by his wife, as well as Maverick and Charlie, turning the song into a full on performance number.
It seems that time hasn't changed the way pilots relax in their downtime. Luckily, one member of this crew of young pilots also knows how to play the piano, and we see several of our young characters singing along to something. It's probably not "Great Balls of Fire." One interesting note about the original scene is that Goose's son, one assumes the same character played by Miles Teller, is part of the chorus in the first movie.
"Because I Was Inverted"
The original Top Gun opens with a fantastic aerial scene that ends not with guns firing and missiles flying, but with Maverick and Goose flying upside down and giving an enemy pilot the finger. It's a hilarious moment that very much sets the tone for the movie as a whole. It also sets up another humorous moment later in the film.
We get another moment of inverted flying in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer, as we see one plane flying upside down above another. This sequence does add a little something into the mix, as we see the two planes begin to rotate in the air and switch places, with the one at the bottom moving to be inverted above the other. We don't know which pilots these are or what's going on, but it's an obvious reference to the original film's famous moment.
In the very next scene after the inversion dance, we see something else that looks eerily familiar to Top Gun fans, a jet apparently losing its engines. While we can't really see who this is happening to, we see the jet with one engine apparently out, and the other one going out.
This is what happened to Maverick and Goose in the accident that ended up taking Goose's life. The fact that the next sequence in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer is showing Tom Cruise attending a military funeral, would indicate that somebody is going to die in the movie. We can't know for sure if these two events are actually connected, but it could be that Maverick is going to have to deal with yet another Top Gun tragedy.
Pilots At Play
One of the most popular scenes in the original Top Gun has nothing to do with fighter jets dancing in the air and everything to do with oiled up guys with no shirts playing volleyball. And let's face it who doesn't love that?
Top Gun: Maverick will apparently be giving us a similar scene. Although, for the sequel it looks like Top Gun has replaced volleyball with football. Also, another major change to the scene, and, in fact, the entire movie, is that the game will now have women in it. We see at least one female pilot in Top Gun: Maverick, using the callsign Phoenix. All we need now is the right Kenny Loggins song.
We see Maverick and his trusty motorcycle a few times in the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick but no moment feels quite like a throwback to the original as this moment showing Jennifer Connelly riding on the back.
The original Top Gun is a surprisingly romantic film, for all of it's jet flying and explosions, and from this one shot we can tell that's going to continue in the sequel.
The synopsis for Top Gun: Maverick tells us that the flight school members are being trained for a specific mission, so the sequel will end as the original one did, with real combat. We see some of that at the end of the new trailer
In the original Top Gun, we saw Maverick working alongside his rival, Val Kilmer's Iceman. Maverick gets Iceman out of trouble by telling him to "break right" at the precise moment, allowing Maverick to get a clean shot on Iceman's pursuer. We hear Maverick telling somebody to do the same thing here. It's like music to the ears.
"It's Time To Buzz The Tower"
In the same way a lot of movies now end with post-credits sequences, we get stingers on the end of trailers a lot as well. Top Gun Maverick ends with our favorite pilot pulling one of his favorite jokes, using the speed of his jet to mess with other people.
In the original Top Gun we see Maverick "buzz the tower" a couple of times, causing people to spill their drinks all over themselves. In Maverick, we see Tom Cruise do an incredibly low fly-by, causing a wave of pressure to cover the ground. The only major difference is that whoever is on the ground here appears to be completely unimpressed.
There a lot of moments clearly meant to remind audiences of the original Top Gun here. The only remaining question is, will there be enough about Top Gun: Maverick that makes the movie feel new enough to be worth making. I'm all for nostalgia. but I want to be surprised too.
After this many years of talk, I'm still in shock that a Top Gun sequel is actually a thing. It will be really be here, this June.