The relationship between Tom Cruise’s Maverick and Anthony Edwards’ Goose in the original 1986 movie Top Gun was one of the emotionally defining points of the film thanks to the death of Edwards’ character half-way through the movie. Now Edwards has given Top Gun: Maverick some much deserved praise, stating that “a lot of work” clearly went into making the movie the one everyone wanted to see from the sequel. While Goose is in the movie in spirit, it is his son, Rooster, who has an emotional journey to travel over the course of the movie, which ensures that it remembers its past as well as its present.
Top Gun: Maverick has been the biggest surprise of the summer so far, blowing away all expectations at the box office to now be almost guaranteed to become the biggest selling movie of the year so far. Having been delayed numerous times over the last two years due the Covid pandemic, the film was originally set to release in 2020, but it seems that the wait has only made audiences even more appreciative of the belated sequel. While only Cruise and Val Kilmer return to reprise their original roles, the memory of characters like Anthony Edwards’ Nick “Goose” Bradshaw are littered throughout the movie. Speaking to ET, Edwards said:
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“People had a certain feeling in the original one and that one [Top Gun: Maverick] does exactly what it felt like seeing it the first time, only more so. As I said to Tom, ‘mission accomplished.’ They did it. They really did though. It’s a lot of work that went into that. It had the feel, it had the tone, it had what people wanted.”
Top Gun Has Made An Emotional Connection With Fans
Among the many positive comments made about Top Gun: Maverick, which include high praise for the stunt work and scripting, the emotional connection made to characters like Goose and Val Kilmer’s Iceman is what has really struck a chord with audiences and critics. The biggest emotional pull comes from the inclusion of Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, son of Goose and initially someone who resents Cruise’s Maverick with a passion. As the relationship between the two develops during the movie, the film proves that it is possible to deliver a nostalgic sequel without simply relying on fan service to get through.
Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t repeat the original movie, but instead takes the best bits and uses that as a base to tell a new story to make sure that the legacy of Top Gun will live on for another generation. Whether this is the last Top Gun project we will see or not, the film has generated a lot of interest in legacy sequels more than any other project to have released in the last few years. While rumors of a possible third movie, or even a TV series for Paramount+ are already keeping the hope of more Top Gun missions alive, but if they do happen it will likely be without Tom Cruise’s involvement.