Top Gun was an incredibly popular movie when it was released in the 1980s and for decades fans have wanted to know what happened to their favorite characters. We will finally learn what happened to Tom Cruise's Maverick when the appropriately titled Top Gun: Maverick is released, but it's unclear right now how many other characters from the original film, if any, will return for the sequel. Luckily, for those dying to know what happened to Iceman's rio, Slider, Rick Rossovich, the actor who played the role, has our answer.
Top Gun: Maverick will be out this year, which also happens to be the 35th anniversary of the original Top Gun. In celebration of that milestone, ScreenRant spoke with Rick Rossovich who revealed that since his Top Gun days Slider continued to fly, though in a slightly less flashy way. As a commercial airline pilot, Slider traveled internationally and even piloted some of the largest commercial jets in the world. According to Rossovich...
He became a commercial pilot, and he was flying LAX to Heathrow on a 747 for most of the time. Then he went to the Dreamliners. I think he's had a great life, and he's really enjoyed the memories.
It's not too surprising to hear that Slider went into commercial aviation. Many military pilots do as it's an easy way to use the highly in demand skill of being able to fly a plane in a way that allows them to have a career. Slider wouldn't be the first fighter pilot to transition to much larger aircraft.
What's unclear from Rick Rossovich's statement is whether or not this history for Slider's character is something "official" or just Rossovich's own headcanon for what he thinks Slider did when he got out of the Navy. Without any specific need for Slider to return to the franchise, either is perfectly valid.
Of course, with a sequel on the way one has to wonder if this is, or will be, part of Slider's official backstory. Rick Rossovich hasn't revealed whether or not he'll be appearing in Top Gun: Maverick or not, but even if he doesn't we could get a couple lines of dialogue explaining what his character got up to after the first movie ended. Rossovich could be giving us a preview of that here.
At the same time, if there was going to be a reference to Slider in Top Gun: Maverick or if the actor was actually going to appear in the film, it seems highly unlikely he would actually be telling us about anything we'd actually get in the film. Which makes it much more likely that this is just what Rossovich feels Slider probably did. But until we hear otherwise, it sounds like a perfectly plausible explanation.