Maverick? A Fan Theory Says ‘Top Gun 2’ Was A Dead Dream

** Spotilers ahead! **

It’s exciting to see Tom Cruise reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the highly anticipated sequel Top Gun: Maverick, recruiting an entirely new crew of pilots for the Top Gun program. It’s even exciting to hear Val Kilmer to portray Iceman after losing his voice nearly a decade ago. But among all the nostalgic moments, there are a few burning questions about the sequel to the original 1986 drama. Namely, there are a lot of feelings about the rather … expected moments of the film.

What do we mean by this? Let’s look at it from an aerial perspective – a pun. If you think about the sequence of events in the film, it kind of feels like it’s meant to be like every action movie. In other words, everything happens at right the right time. A nonconformist is involved in training the pilots to prepare for a mission that, frankly, only he could succeed. So, what happens and why does the film suddenly feel like a dream?

Well, thanks to VultureMaybe there’s a good reason why the film feels like a perfect picture: Maverick might have a dying dream all the time.

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At the beginning of the film, we see Maverick trying to reach Mach 9 speed with a hypersonic jet – part of the Darkstar program. When he is told that Rear Admiral Cain (Ed Harris) is on its way to redirect the program’s funding to drones, Maverick not only gets on the air but manages to get past Mach 9 to Mach 10, aka the planned goal of the said program.

Unfortunately, this is where things start to take an interesting turn. The jet ends up shattering in the middle and then the film strangely cuts to Maverick entering a dining room seemingly confused. Knowing these details, there is theory floating around on the internet arguing that this whole scenario never happened. If true, the remaining events of the film actually make some sense.


Think about it: If Maverick has a dream of death, then of course he would be the only pilot who could accomplish such a dangerous feat. And doesn’t it make sense that the teacher for the green recruits is suddenly the only person who can somehow lead the mission? Even the idea that there is no real name for the film’s enemy somehow works. If anything, Maverick has just used remnants of his past to recreate one last adventure before he dies.

We also have another clue about this wild fantasy theory and that is the character of Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), also the son of Maverick’s best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. When Rooster is first introduced, he kind of looks right like his late father – a mustache and all. Even the song playing on the piano is the same track that was played when Goose was first featured in the original film!

If we continue with the assumption that Maverick has the last hurry, then even the final reconciliation between elder and novice plays into it. After all, Goose tragically dies in the first film – why not honor him by fixing the relationship with his son?

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What about the other connections Maverick is involved with during the film? Does this theory apply to them as well? It looks like it. If Maverick really dies and dreams at the same time, then it is plausible for Iceman to recommend him for the dangerous mission. Even Maverick’s flowery romance with Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly) controls, because Maverick could never seem to put that element of his life together.

So, with a movie that is already there making it great at the box office and possibly receiving a third film in the franchise, we can’t help but feel that there is more to explore here. But only time (or dream) will tell …

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