Short answer, no.
We first heard, “Talk to me, Goose” in 1986 and none of us have been the same since. Their first go at the action-packed aviation film simultaneously tugged at America’s heartstrings and had people on the edge of their seats the entire time. It was downright iconic. The film opens up with US Naval Aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and his partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Maverick and Goose were the duos of all duos. Whether they were flying F-14s or playing a mean game of beach volleyball, they always had each other’s backs.
If you have been meaning to get around to watching the first Top Gun and haven’t had the chance… STOP READING. I’m about to go full stick throttle and spoil everything for you.
Maverick’s best friend and RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) was Nick Bradshaw, “Goose.”
After an encounter with a hostile aircraft, Maverick gives a fellow wingman, “Cougar” a pep talk to calm him down. Shaken up, Cougar quits. Maverick gets promoted to Top Gun- where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills.
Maverick meets a girl named Charlie at a bar. Shoots his shot and misses.
Plot twist. Turns out Charlie is an astrophysicist and civilian Top Gun instructor.
After some back and forth, he charms her. They fall in love.
There’s another budding relationship worth mentioning. Maverick’s rival, “Iceman.”
There’s a beach volleyball game.
Iceman views Maverick as a liability and thinks he will stray from his wingman.
Maverick strays from his wingman in training.
Gets chewed out.
He starts to rethink things, and leans on Charlie.
Goose gets to see his wife, Carole, and his young son Bradley.
Iceman and Maverick do a training together, Iceman blocks Maverick out.
Maverick pressures Iceman to break out of the engagement, gets caught in Iceman’s jet wash, both engines flame out.
Maverick and Goose’s jet spirals out of control, forcing them to eject.
Goose crashes head first into the jet’s canopy, killing him on impact.
Maverick considers retiring.
Maverick’s instructor, Viper, shares that he flew with Maverick’s father, and encouraged him to keep pushing forward.
After graduating Top Gun, Maverick and Iceman are sent to the U.S.S. Enterprise for a crisis situation. Maverick is assigned to be the wingman.
This time, Maverick doesn’t leave his wingman. They take down six enemy aircrafts, returning to the Enterprise triumphantly.
Iceman and Maverick put aside their differences and have a newfound respect for each other.
The movie ends with Maverick taking an assignment to become a Top Gun instructor.
So do you have to watch Top Gun before watching Top Gun: Maverick? Not necessarily. But, we’d recommend it. It’s very much a continuation of not only Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s story, but Nick “Goose” Bradshaw’s legacy. Top Gun: Maverick pushes the envelope with real F-18 footage, a little good ol’ fashion beach football, and a storyline that will make all viewers feel a need, a need for speed.
If you want to watch Top Gun: Maverick without all the military-grade profanity, it’s now available to watch with VidAngel.
Spoiler Alert: Top Gun: Maverick is currently only available for purchase on Amazon Video for $19.99. About the same price as movie theater popcorn. For those of you with a bit more patience, the price is sure to come down eventually. Fingers crossed.