‘Top Gun’ Sequel ‘Maverick’ Never Actually Identifies the Enemy

by Suzanne Halliburton

Have you bought your tickets to the Top Gun sequel yet? The Tom Cruise movie opens in wide release this Friday, with Maverick giving fans a new storyline for the first time in 36 years.

Since the movie is about Top Gun pilots, there will be intense aerial dog fights. That’s guaranteed. But folks who have seen the movie point out a key detail. With all the spectacle, there is no identification of the enemy. It’s all vague. We know what they’re doing, but we don’t know what country the bad guys represent.

Here’s a mild spoiler alert. According to Looper, the American pilots will go on a secret mission to take out a uranium enrichment plant. The enemy placed the plant in the middle of some mountains, making it extraordinarily difficult to access. Whoever is defending the plant is doing so with something more advanced than an F-18. Another spoiler alert, Iceman, aka Admiral Tom Kazansky, asks Cruise’s Maverick to train the younger pilots for this mission. Basically, these aren’t so much spoilers, but how the movie sets up its premise.

Cruise’s Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick, is another mystery. With a long career in the Navy, for whatever reason, he’s avoided all promotions. He was in the same Top Gun class with Kazansky back in 1986. Kazansky, a four-star admiral, now heads up the Pacific fleet.

Cast of Top Gun sequel attend the movie premiere last week in London. (Lia Toby/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

The Arab Weekly tried to figure out who the enemy is in the Top Gun sequel. The outlet believes it’s likely Iran. The United States, for years, has been trying to keep the country from acquiring material to make a nuclear weapon. But again, the enemy location in Top Gun: Maverick isn’t obvious. It could be anywhere in the world.

But the original Top Gun didn’t say who the enemy was, either. We probably all assumed the Soviet Union. The enemy pilots flew MiG-28s. The military news outlet Task and Purpose also analyzed who those enemies might be. It said the paint on the planes indicated they may belong to North Korea or China.

The dog fights, when Maverick ended up saving Iceman from an MiG, took place over the Indian Ocean. Task and Purpose said China didn’t operate any aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean back in the 1980s. So you can eliminate China from the list of potential enemies. In commentary included with the Top Gun special edition, director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer indicated the enemy in the original movie was North Korea.

So it’s clear that Top Gun is more about the characters like Maverick or Rooster (Miles Teller.) He’s the son of Goose (Anthony Edwards) who was Maverick’s original wingman. Goose died in a freak accident as he tried to bail out of the plane.

Top Gun: Maverick probably will open with a huge international box office. The expectation is it will exceed the best opening weekend ever for a Cruise movie. The Mummy, in 2017, generated more than $167 million. Cruise and the cast have done star-studded premieres around the world. The movie celebrated in Tokyo Tuesday after having similar premieres in London, Cannes (France) and San Diego.