Maverick Improves An Original Movie Joke So Much in "Top Gun"

Top Gun: Maverick improved Maverick's story by turning a forgotten throwaway line from the first Top Gun into a significant sequel subplot.

A side joke from the first Top Gun refers to an unseen admiral's daughter, which turns out to be a pivotal—and unexpectedly romantic—character in Top Gun: Maverick. 

 Although the tone of the first Top Gun and the delayed sequel Top Gun: Maverick was similar, the way that each film portrayed Tom Cruise's roguish antihero Maverick couldn't have been more dissimilar. 

Maverick is an aging has-been who is haunted by regret (despite still having his flying skills) in Top Gun: Maverick as opposed to the original Top Gun, 

where he is a feckless, reckless rebel whose flying prowess isn't enough to keep him out of trouble with the Navy's top brass.

Top Gun: Maverick ended with the antihero happier and more content than he had ever been in the decades between the first film and its sequel, even though Top Gun 3 may take Maverick's story in a darker direction. 

Maverick's peace, though, wasn't easy to obtain. The main character of Top Gun: