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I feel the need... The need for speed!
~ Maverick’s most famous quote which was shared with Goose

Lt. (later Captain) Peter Mitchell, callsign "Maverick", is the main protagonist of the 1986 movie Top Gun, directed by the late Tony Scott, and its 2022 sequel Top Gun: Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski.

He was portrayed by Tom Cruise, who also played Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible films, Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai, Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher films, and Nick Morton in The Mummy (2017).

Biography

Top Gun

Mavericks F-18.

Maverick is an F-14 Tomcat pilot for the United States Navy. After a mission to intercept some MiGs ends with Maverick helping Cougar land his plane on the carrier, Cougar turns in his wings from the Navy and Maverick and Goose are sent to Top Gun at Miramar. The reason behind Maverick's reckless flying is because of the death of his father, Duke Mitchell, on November 5, 1965, when his plane was shot down in a dogfight during the Vietnam War.

While at Top Gun, Maverick falls in love with flight instructor Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood and becomes a rival with another pilot, Iceman, who considers Maverick to be dangerous. At the same time, Maverick's reckless flying annoys and impresses Jester simultaneously which is shown when he defeats Jester in combat, while violating two rules of engagement the process.

In another flight, Maverick leaves his wingmen Hollywood and faces off against Viper, the "finest pilot in the world". However, Jester manages to defeat Maverick before Maverick can take Viper down. Then, tragedy strikes when during a training exercise,

Iceman breaks off formation and Maverick flies through the jet wash of Iceman's F-14, causing his plane to suffer a flameout and to go into a flat spin. While Maverick ejects from the plane, Goose is ejected into the canopy, colliding on impact and killing him. Although the board of inquiry clears Maverick, Maverick is feeling guilty over the death of Goose and is unable to concentrate.

He is thinking about quitting until he talks with Viper, who reveals that he had flown with Maverick's father. In the climax, Maverick, Iceman, and Hollywood are to mount a rescue mission to help a disabled communications ship known as the SS Layton. Maverick is partnered up with Merlin, and during the mission, Hollywood is shot down by the MiGs and Hollywood and Wolfman eject safely. When Maverick flies into the battle, Maverick flies through one of the MiGs' jet wash but retains his control. After recovering, Maverick and Iceman manage to shoot down four of the MiGs as well as force the others to flee.

Maverick tosses Goose's dogtags into the ocean, and Maverick and Iceman finally become friends. When Maverick is offered to return to Top Gun, he decided to become an instructor. Maverick is last seen meeting Charlie at the bar while "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" plays.

Top Gun: Maverick

34 years later, a middle-aged Maverick becomes the captain of the base and starts helping Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Goose, one of his deceased friends, to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Having avoided promotion, Maverick continues serving as a test pilot. One day, Rear Admiral Chester Cain shuts down the Darkstar scramjet program to put more funds into drones. He flies the prototype to it's test objective, but pushes it even further to Mach 10.4, destroying it. Cain intends to punish Maverick for his recklessness, but instead sends him to NAS North Island to be a TOPGUN flight instructor, as order by Iceman.

Maverick is order to train a group of young pilots sent to bomb an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant. The plant sits in a deep depression at the end of a canyon and is defended by surface-to-air missiles and fifth-generation fighters operating from a nearby air base. Maverick plans an attack with two pairs of Super Hornets, which will fly through a canyon and destroy the plant. The aviators initially rebuff Maverick, particularly the self-confident Lieutenant Jake "Hangman" Seresin Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw.

Hangman and Rooster go at odds for the former's indifferent attitude and the latter's caution. The pilots reassess Maverick's skill and swarm him. Meanwhile, Maverick reunites with former girlfriend Penny Benjamin, to whom he reveals that Rooster's deceased mother made him promise to keep her son from flying after the death of his father, therefore blocking his naval application. He then meets Iceman who's suffering from throat cancer and communicates by typing. Iceman reassures Maverick about teaching the team before his eventual passing. With Iceman dead, Cyclone removes Maverick as mission trainer and sets new parameters that are less risky on approach but riskier on exit. Regardless, Maverick makes an unauthorized test flight of the simulated course with the original parameters, proving that it could be done, convincing the reluctant Cyclone to appoint Maverick as strike leader.

Maverick pairs with Phoenix with her WSO Bob and Rooster pairs with Payback and his WSO Fanboy. Hangman and the remaining pilots, known as the Dagger Squadron, set off of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier while the Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired to destroy the base, braving the surface-to-air missiles and taking on two Su-57 Felons. Maverick sacrifices his jet to protect Rooster and ejects. Believing Maverick to be killed in action, the remaining aircraft return to the carrier. Against orders, Rooster turns back and saves Maverick from an Mi-24 helicopter gunship, but is shot down by another surface-to-air missile and ejects nearby. The two reunite and head towards the destroyed airbase, where they steal a F-14 Tomcat and head back to the carrier. Maverick and Rooster shoot down two intercepting Su-57s, but a third arrives as they run out of ammunition and countermeasures. Hangman arrives from standby to shoot down the Su-57, and the planes return to cheers on the carrier, where Maverick and Rooster reconcile.

Afterwards, Maverick and Rooster work on a P-51 Mustang at a hangar near the test facility where Maverick was previously stationed. Penny arrives with her daughter Amelia, and Maverick takes her for a ride in the P-51. Rooster walks to a photo board and acknowledges a photo of their mission's success, alongside a photo of his late father and a younger Maverick.

Quotes

  • Good morning, aviators. This is your captain speaking. Today's exercise is dogfighting.
  • It's one of life's mysteries, sir.
  • I have to admit, I wasn't expecting an invitation back.
  • With all due respect, sir, I'm not a teacher. I just want to manage expectations.
  • I’m going to train you to take your aircraft to the breaking point.
  • I intend you to push your limits. Show me what you're made of.
  • Here we go. In three… two… one.
  • You think up there, you're dead. Believe me.

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