5 Questions That Need Answers When ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Arrives

The latest trailer for Top Gun: Maverick hit the Internet this week, and – sure – I still get a little flutter in my ’80s heart when I get a sneak peek at what’s happening with one of our beloved ’80s movie franchises.

Of course, as Hollywood plays it these days, very little is revealed in the latest tailer for Maverick, which is due to hit theaters Dec. 23, 2020. We see Tom Cruise – presumably back at the Navy’s fighter tactics school – looking a little wrinkled around the eyes but otherwise ageless. There are the obligatory chest-thumping scenes of flying footage and even a hint at a volleyball or football game – shirtless, of course – at the beach. But little else is revealed. Is that a good thing? Maybe. But when a movie hides it plot so fervently, I get a little suspicious.

More than 30 years have passed – in real time anyway – since Maverick, Goose and Iceman lit up the skies in a Cold War world. And frankly, I need some answers as to what has happened in those lost decades.

Here are five questions that better be answered in Top Gun: Maverick.

WHY IS MAVERICK STILL FLYING? As the first trailer pointed out, Cruise’s character should be an admiral by now, but he’s still flying. I’m assuming that at the VERY least, we’ll get the backstory here. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take as long to drag the truth out as did the story behind Maverick’s old man.

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHARLIE? Kelly McGillis played Cruise’s love interest in the original movie. She’s not cast in the sequel, but Jennifer Connelly is. Don’t pull an “Aaron Sorkin” here and fail to explain the disappearance of Charlie. (I love Sorkin’s work – every bit of it – but he loves to write off female characters without any explanation.) We better find out who lost that lovin’ feeling.

WHAT’S UP WITH ICEMAN? By now, everyone knows Val Kilmer has a role in Top Gun: Maverick. But how big a role is it? Is he playing his former role as Maverick’s rival Iceman? Or has Tom given Val just a mere cameo as a wink to ’80s fans? Either way, please fill in the blanks for us.

WHERE’S THE REST OF THE GANG? Speaking of Charlie and Iceman, let’s hear what happened to Goose’s wife (played by Meg Ryan. I’ve heard their son will be a student at fighter school) and Viper (the cool-headed lead instructor played expertly by Tom Skerritt in 1986.)

WHAT’S NEXT? Can we expect a Top Gun 3? Or will the story be tied up with a bow and finally set on the bookshelf? Cruise isn’t big about closing doors to possible sequels – see Mission: Impossible Part 13 – so I’m expecting to leave the cineplex nonplussed.