Top Gun 2 Trailer Breakdown: 13 Character & Story Reveals

Top Gun 2 Characters

The official Top Gun: Maverick trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, giving audiences the first look at every new character and going deeper into the plot. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer will reprise their Top Gun roles for Maverick while Ed Harris, John Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and more will appear as part of Top Gun: Maverick's supporting cast.

Director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) has stepped into Top Gun director Tony Scott's seat to help realize this new chapter in the Top Gun saga. The trailer confirms much of what we know about the Top Gun sequel already: Maverick (Cruise) is still serving as a Navy fighter pilot in a rapidly modernizing world where they may no longer be room for him. Meanwhile, a new class of Top Gun recruits arrive on the scene, ready to serve their country but likely unprepared for what they're going to experience during their training. The trailer teases plenty of highs and lows for the new recruits, recalling the very similar experiences Maverick and his recruit class friend, Iceman (Kilmer), experienced more than 30 years ago.

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Related: Everything We Know About Iceman's Role In Top Gun: Maverick

Running close to three minutes in length, the Top Gun: Maverick trailer features a host of familiar faces as well as several newcomers to the series. Here are all the biggest reveals from the Top Gun: Maverick trailer, including story and character details, as well as a possible recreation of a very intense beach volleyball scene.

13. Ed Harris' Character Revealed

Ed Harris in Top Gun 2 Maverick

Ed Harris' Top Gun: Maverick character still doesn't have a name (at least, one that's been publicized), but the trailer reveals he'll be playing one of Maverick's commanding officers. Harris' character is introduced in a one-on-one discussion with Maverick, having ostensibly called the Top Gun pilot into his office to figure out what Maverick wants to do with his career. Harris' character is definitely has a commanding presence and could be a potential antagonist to Maverick's protagonist.

12. Tom Cruise Is Maverick, But Changed

Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun 2

Maverick's credentials are read in voiceover at the beginning of the trailer, illustrating how much he has changed and grown since audiences last saw him in 1986. We hear Harris' characters read through Maverick's career highlights: "30-plus years of service. Combat medals, citations. Only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years." It's certainly impressive.

The credentials only make up the first part of a speech meant to be a preamble to another dressing-down for Maverick. But this is a great, succinct way to bring viewers up to speed on everything Maverick's done with his career. Of course, those credentials come with the unspoken hardships of active duty during two contemporary wars which fundamentally changed the U.S. military, those who served, and the nation itself. Chances are good the emotional, mental, and physical toll taken on Maverick as he earned those aforementioned achievements will also be addressed in Top Gun: Maverick.

11. Maverick Is A Captain

Tom Crusie as Maverick in a plane in Top Gun 2

After listing Maverick's career credentials, Harris' character surprises viewers: Maverick is just a captain. "Yet you can't get a promotion. You won't retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die. You should be at least a two-star admiral by now. Yet here you are. Captain," Harris' character remarks. Maverick remaining a captain for the entirety of his career hints at either a distaste for leaving the role he felt he was made for - being a pilot - or he's reticent to take a promotion because of the added pressures and responsibilities. Either way, only achieving the rank of captain after 30-plus years of service will surely be regurgitated multiple times in Top Gun: Maverick.

Related: Every Song On The Top Gun Soundtrack

10. Maverick's Iconic Jacket, Aviators, And Bike Return

Tom Crusie as Maverick in a plane in Top Gun 2

It wouldn't be a Top Gun movie without the classic trappings of a Navy pilot. As shown in the trailer, Maverick has added some patches to his classic green jacket and he's upgraded his aviators, but his sartorial choices will always remain the same at the end of the day. The Top Gun: Maverick trailer also features a particularly breathtaking shot of Maverick riding his trusty motorbike across as airstrip as he watches a fighter jet take off, reminding viewers there is some magic still left in this line of work.

9. A New Pilot Suit Will Modernize The Navy

Maverick in advanced pilot suit in Top Gun 2

It looks like Maverick and the 21st century will be butting heads in Top Gun: Maverick. For a brief moment, we glimpse Maverick wearing a new kind of pilot's helmet. It more closely resembles the kind of helmet an astronaut might wear or someone flying at extremely high altitudes. The shot is a reminder of a conflict dealt with in the sequel: how the Navy's modernization will affect the old guard, which is represented through Maverick.

8. Jon Hamm's Character Revealed

Jon Hamm in Top Gun 2 Maverick

Jon Hamm was revealed to be playing a Navy officer, possibly a pilot who has been serving as long as Maverick has served but has instead risen up in the ranks. (He appears to be a Vice admiral, or a three-star admiral in the US Navy.) Hamm's character seems to be an authoritative, no-nonsense kind of guy. We should expect plenty of fireworks when he and Maverick cross paths.

Related: Top Gun 2 To Be Scored By Hans Zimmer & Original Top Gun Composer

7. Glen Powell Character Revealed

Glen Powell in Top Gun 2 Maverick

Is Glenn Powell's character the new Iceman? It sure looked like it the moment his character was revealed during the Top Gun: Maverick trailer. Powell's character, whose name has yet to be revealed, is seen on the beach, shirtless, joyfully shouting. If we didn't know any better, it looks like Maverick is going to recreate that iconic beach volleyball scene from the first movie.

6. Jennifer Connelly Character Revealed

Jennifer Connelly in Top Gun 2 Maverick

Jennifer Connelly's character, Maverick's love interest who owns and operates a Top Gun recruit-approved local bar, was also revealed in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer and shown at two different points. In the first glimpse, she turns around and looks back (presumably at Maverick). There's a shot later in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer where her back is to the camera and Maverick appears to be consoling her. As the leading lady of Top Gun: Maverick, it's nice to get a tease about the kind of energy Connelly will bring to the film.

5. The First Look At Miles Teller As Goose's Son

Miles Teller sas Goose Son in Top Gun 2

It looks like Miles Teller's Bradley Bradshaw (Goose's son), is having a grand old time carousing in a bar with his fellow recruits. Bradley has a mustache very similar to the one Goose used to sport - a nice homage. Furthermore, it seems Bradley is inclined to singing in bars, as well, just like his dad used to do with Maverick when they were recruits. It's not clear what they're singing; fingers crossed it's a reprisal of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling".

4. Who Is Phoenix?

Phoenix in Top Gun 2 Maverick

Newcomer Monica Barbaro's character, Phoenix, was also revealed in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer. Not much is know about her other than her codename, which is displayed prominently on her helmet. Given her age, she'll be part of the new recruit class as Bradley and the other pilots, who were seen singing in the bar earlier in the trailer.

3. There Will Be A Funeral

Tom Cruise as Maverick at a funeral in Top Gun 2

Death is coming to Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick leads what looks like a funeral service for a fellow Navy officer. The identity of the person inside the casket is unknown but it's revealed in the scene this person received a 21-gun salute as they were laid to rest. Top Gun reminded viewers death is ever-present when you serve in the military. Unfortunately, death will once again touch the lives of Maverick, Bradley, and other Navy men and women.

Related: Top Gun 2 Theory: Iceman is In The Coffin

2. There's A Mountain Scene

Maverick Flying over Mountains in Top Gun 2

One of the big setpieces looks to be taking place in the mountains. It may just be a test run but it could also be teasing a much more high-stakes flight. In the above photo, if you look on either side of Maverick's plane (bottom left and bottom right, respectively), you can see two missiles flanking him. It's difficult to see if those are missiles Maverick is trying to outmaneuver or if he's the one firing them. Either way, this could be part of a nail-biting sequence meant to bring viewers inside the cockpit and feel the need for speed.

1. Top Gun 2's Big Question: Is Maverick Obsolete?

Tom Cruise as Maverick on an aircraft carrier in Top Gun 2

The Top Gun: Maverick trailer ends on an uncertain note as Maverick stares out at the ocean while aboard an aircraft carrier. It's a perfect visual representation of what Maverick appears to be going through during Top Gun: Maverick. He's an aging fighter pilot who seems content to stick to the old protocols when it's clear there's no room for them in the modern world. Will the world still need pilots like Maverick to keep it safe? Or is it time for Maverick to read the writing on the wall, pack it in, and move on with his life?

Next: Everything We Know About Top Gun: Maverick

Key Release Dates
  • Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2020) release date: Jun 26, 2020
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