‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Maverick At The End Of Top Gun: Maverick?

Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is the latest blockbuster offering from silver screen super star Tom Cruise. The film is a sequel to the 1986 film “Top Gun” directed by Tony Scott. Cruise comes back to the role that made him famous and does it with a good amount of respect, and reverence, but also the will to let new things take the place of the old. Something that Cruise has never done in any of his other films. Cruise knows that time is catching up to him, but he is willing to take the blow gracefully.

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Cruise shares the screen with a young movie star in the form of Miles Teller. Teller has been having a resurgence recently in his career, and it is good to see him back on the screen again. The young actor plays back and forth with the veteran Cruise effortlessly, and the result is a movie that expels 80s energy like no other. The movie also offers some of the best aerial combat scenes ever put on screen. Director Joseph Kosinski directs what could be his best film to date.

Top Gun: Maverick offers intense action and also a journey back in time, to an era where things were simple, and takes the character of Maverick to a logical resolution. Beware, the next paragraphs are filled with spoilers.

What Happens To Tom Cruise In Top Gun: Maverick?

At the start of the movie, we’re introduced to Tom Cruise in the role of Captain Pete Mitchell, a.k.a. “Maverick” as he tries to break his record inside one of the test airplanes he is testing pilot for. Maverick shows his recklessness, but also his prowess when he goes against his superior’s order, gets inside the plane and then takes it beyond anyone who has taken the machine. Maverick reaches Mach 10, which is ten times the speed of sound.

However, even when Maverick managed such an achievement, he didn’t obey the rules, so he must be punished. Tom Kazansky “Iceman”, who is now an admiral and commander of the whole Pacific Fleet, saves him from being expelled from the navy and instead brings him back to the Top Gun school. When he arrives, Maverick is informed there is an important and almost impossible mission on the agenda. Maverick seems excited to be placed into combat once again, but instead, he is informed that he will be the instructor of those going on the mission.

Top Gun: Maverick

Maverick explores the surrounding area and reconnects with Penny, an old flame and owner of the local bar where pilots spend most of their free time. It seems they have been going on and off for years. During his visit to the bar, Maverick observes the new pilots, among them is Rooster, the son of his late best friend Goose, who died during the original film.

The younger pilots are the elite, the best of the best, so they are confident in their abilities, however, when presented with the mission, they don’t know if it is feasible. Maverick lets them know he isn’t a teacher, but he will do his best to prepare them for actual combat scenarios. During the training, Rooster relationship with Maverick is tense as Rooster thinks Maverick pulled his application for Naval Academy years ago, setting back his career.

Top Gun: Maverick

In a bitter twist of fate, but the mission moves up by one week. Maverick still doesn’t think the pilots are ready for such a mission, it asks too much from them, and their training proves that the mission might not be possible. Maverick refuses to send the pilots in their current state, which lands him in a bad place with his superiors. He visits Iceman, who is suffering from throat cancer, and the old friends reconnect. Iceman convinces Maverick that he is needed, and he is the only way the pilots will be prepared for such a mission.

In a surprise move, Maverick takes a plane and performs a simulation of the mission in half the time. The pilots and Maverick’s superiors are all impressed by Maverick’s abilities. Now that he has proved the mission can be done, the pilots have a new sense of confidence, and they keep on training.

Who Dies In Top Gun: Maverick?

The mission is a go, but sadly, Iceman dies from sickness before launching the mission. Everybody around Maverick seemed to have passed away, leaving him alone. He reconnects with Penny before the mission, and it is clear they truly feel something for each other, even if it hasn’t worked out before. Maverick prepares for the mission, but now he has something to come back for.

The mission is to launch, and as Team Leader, Maverick brings with him Phoenix, Bob, Payback, Fanboy, and Rooster, who will be his wingman. The mission then finally takes place, and everything seems to be going according to plan. Maverick, Phoenix, and Bob manage to open the protection on top of their target, and now it is Rooster and his team’s turn to destroy it completely.

Top Gun: Maverick

Rooster is behind schedule, but he manages to perform what is needed of him, and he destroys the target. Now, they need to leave the area, but they are attacked by missiles protecting the site. The pilots launch their countermeasures to avoid being hit by the missiles, but there are too many. Rooster is targeted by one of the missiles, and Maverick sacrifices himself to save Rooster. Everybody is shocked as Maverick goes down.

However, Maverick managed to eject before his jet exploded, but now he is all alone in enemy territory. Rooster goes against his orders and turns back, making the missiles hit him, so he can go down as well. There he meets with Maverick, and they have a fun discussion about who is saving whose life. The two pilots make a plan, and they end up stealing an old F-14 they see in a hangar.

They both fly in the old plane and manage to escape from the enemy. When they reach their base, everybody is surprised and happy that they are not dead. As the pair steps down from the plane, they embrace reconciling their feelings and making peace with each other. As the film closes, we see Maverick riding into the sunset with Penny in the back of his motorcycle.

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