Was the Plot of 'Top Gun: Maverick' All a Dream—Before Maverick Exploded?

'Top Gun: Maverick'Credit: Paramount Pictures
Maybe your life does flash before your eyes...

As Top Gun: Maverick soars over a billion dollars at the box office, a fan theory about the film has become increasingly popular on social media.  There are spoilers for the movie to come, so I am warning you here.

The basic theory is this. At the opening of Top Gun: Maverick, we see Tom Cruise's character testing a new military jet, taking its speed to the extreme. That jet explodes, and Pete "Maverick" Mitchell supposedly survives.

But what if he didn't? What if, at the moment of the explosion, we enter his point of view and get a hallucination about what he wished his life would be? 

A vision of what it would be like to go back to Top Gun, see his old friends, start a love affair with the one who got away, bury the hatchet with Goose's son, and fly one last mission with purpose. It would explain some of the far-fetched parts of the movie... like one Twitter user pointed out, do people in their 20s really know the words to "Great Balls of Fire"?

Check out this video from David Chen, and let's talk after. 

Was the Plot of Top Gun 2 All a Dream Before Maverick Exploded? 

It's not just David Chen with this theory. It popped up all over social media and was recently the subject of a piece from Vulture.

The main argument against the theory is that we go into the point of view of other people than Cruise's character. And many of us only dream in our points of view. But who's to say that still happens moments before our death? We will only know at the end.

As fun as the theory is, I don't buy it. It's super fun to discuss and reminds me of the one we covered about 9/11 not happening in the A Star is Born universe, which still makes me laugh. 

So what do you think? Was it all a dream? 

Let me know in the comments.      

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Your Comment


And in one headline you've spoiled the movie for me.

July 22, 2022 at 1:08PM

urban revolution
Stories Pictures & Sounds

There can be no doubt that that was his precise intent.

July 22, 2022 at 10:03PM

Matthew Stephens

I hate it when the first scene of a movie get's spoiled.

July 25, 2022 at 8:32AM

Robbie Patton

As Freud stated… “You are everyone in your dreams“. So yeah, he’s dead.

July 23, 2022 at 9:16AM

Matthew Carnes
All Trades that Pay

That was obnoxious of you.

July 24, 2022 at 5:16PM, Edited July 24, 5:16PM

eric wadsworth
Director, Storyboard artist, VFX artist.