Tom Cruise is back on the silver screens as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell after almost three decades. Although Maverick is known to be close to undefeatable, his career in the navy can only last for so long. It was but natural for fans to wonder if it’s time to say goodbye to the leading star.
But while the film has created enough room for a protégé to take over, rest assured that no main character or newly introduced Top Gun: Maverick character dies in the film. However, there are a few deaths:
Top Gun’s original characters Tom “Iceman” Kazansky and Carole Bradshaw die or are revealed to be dead in Top Gun: Maverick.
It’s time to talk about them in some detail:
How does Iceman Die?
We don’t see a lot of Top Gun’s original characters in the flesh as much as we see them in flashbacks. The only except to this is Iceman, who was once Maverick’s rival and then close friend.
We’re told that over the years, he has ascended to the position of the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and has used his influence to keep Maverick in the navy.
However, the first time we see him on screen, it’s when Maverick learns that Iceman’s throat cancer has relapsed. During this conversation, Iceman cannot talk much but still gives his friend some good advice on to train his team.
A few days later, Iceman dies off-screen due to his throat cancer and is honored in a funeral attended by Maverick, the Top Gun pilots and the rest of the naval crew.
When does Rooster’s mother, Carole, die?
Through a set of hospital flashbacks explained, it is implied that Carole Bradshaw died sometimes after the events of Top Gun 1. In the flashbacks, she doesn’t look much older than the original movie, plus Rooster has not grown up yet either.
While Maverick does not explain how she died, he does disclose to Penny that Carole had made him promise that he won’t let Rooster follow in his father’s footsteps. This is why Maverick blocked Rooster’s application to the Naval Academy.
Does Maverick die?
No, Maverick does not die in Top Gun 2. He certainly comes close to death when he flips around to cover Rooster from the aerial attacks getting hit himself instead. His plane is seen crashing and the screen does go black for a moment — a moment enough to expect the worse.
But despite death’s best efforts (I’m borrowing from the movie’s crisp dialogues here), Maverick refuses to die as he seen hurt but still conscious on enemy territory. Once again, as he’s been shot at, Rooster swoops in with his carrier, but also ends up getting grounded.
The climax of the story is how the two of then make it safely back to base safely. I am happy to report that neither one of them dies.
About Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is a Paramount film (and sequel) starring Tom Cruise who reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the 1986 Top Gun. It is directed by Joseph Kosinski, with a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie and a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks.
Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer are part of the cast.
The film sees Maverick’s return to the US Navy pilots as he trains a new squad of aviators, preparing them for a dangerous mission. Upon release, the movie was a massive success and became the highest grossing film of Tom Cruise so far.