Top Gun: Maverick - 2022

Top Gun: Maverick - 2022
Movie Info

Rating: PG-13


Age-appropriateness: moderate action, strong language


Overview: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.


Themes: resilience, disobedience, mentorship, discipleship, pride, humility, death/grieving, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, purpose, calling, forgiveness, sacrifice, identity

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Leadership and selfish ambition. When do you look out for your own interests? How can you consider the needs of others on a regular basis?

  • Rooster and Hangman were very different types of team leaders. Rooster was a leader who looked out for the best interest of the team. Hangman, on the other hand, is full of selfish ambition. Philippians 2:3-4 warns against selfish ambition: "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."


2. Disobedience. Do you have a tendency to disobey the instructions that grown ups give you? Why do you take things too far at times, going past the limits that have been set for you?

  • Maverick has both combat medals and many citations in his 30 years of service. He would disobey orders at time, pushing the limits and taking things too far. His insubordination got him into regular trouble with his superiors.


3. Forgiveness. Do you think Rooster should've forgiven Maverick? Who is someone that you have trouble forgiving?

  • Rooster had a difficult time taking instructions from Maverick. Rooster blames Maverick for pulling his papers at the Naval Academy, setting him back four years. Rooster also knows Maverick was flying with his dad when his dad died. Maverick hoped Rooster would forgive him. Forgiveness is making a decision to free yourself from holding on to resentment and feelings of revenge toward someone who hurt you.

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Maverick has both combat medals and many citations in his 30 years of service. He would disobey orders at time, pushing the limits and taking things too far. His insubordination got him into regular trouble with his superiors. Do you have a tendency to disobey the instructions that grown ups give you? Why do you take things too far at times, going past the limits that have been set for you?


2. Despite the opportunity to accept many promotions, Maverick remains a “Captain”. With his skill level and experience, Maverick could have been a high ranking officer in the Navy. Ephesians 4:1-2 talks about embracing your calling with humility: "Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." What do you think you've been called to do in this life? How can you embrace God's plans for you?


3. Maverick remembers and grieves the death of his best friend, Goose. He regularly remembers his friend, which brings both good memories and painful moments of missing him. What do you think is a healthy way for Maverick to honor Goose's memory? Who is someone from your past who you miss being around?

4. The best Top Gun graduates have all been called back to a new mission for the Navy. Phoenix wonders who would be qualified to train the best in the world. Hangman says that Maverick “needs an ego check”. Pride is feeling that you are the best and most important. How prideful do you think the Top Gun pilots were? What do you think made them feel that pride?


5. Rooster had a difficult time taking instructions from Maverick. Rooster blames Maverick for pulling his papers at the Naval Academy, setting him back four years. Rooster also knows Maverick was flying with his dad when his dad died. Maverick hoped Rooster would forgive him. Forgiveness is making a decision to free yourself from holding on to resentment and feelings of revenge toward someone who hurt you. Do you think Rooster should forgive Maverick? Who is someone that you have trouble forgiving?


6. Rooster and Hangman were very different types of team leaders. Rooster was a leader who looked out for the best interest of the team. Hangman, on the other hand, is full of selfish ambition. Philippians 2:3-4 warns against selfish ambition: "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." When do you look out for your own interests? How can you consider the needs of others on a regular basis?


7. Maverick must choose between sending Rooster on the mission or keeping him behind. If he sends Rooster on the mission, he risks his life. If he holds him back, he knows Rooster might never forgive him. What do you think Maverick should’ve done? Why would you have done that?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:11 Maverick learns the Admiral Cain is going to shut down their Mach 10 flight program. Instead of just giving up, Maverick tries to complete the Mach 10 way ahead of schedule. He shows great resilience in this moment. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and challenges. How often do you show resilience? What are some recent challenges you’ve had to overcome?


:20 Instead of flying in the next important mission for the Navy, Maverick is ordered to teach younger pilots how to do it. He claims that he’s “not a teacher”. We all need leaders in our lives that teach us how to do things better. We also need to pass on what we learn to others so that they can grow. Who are some of the best mentors and teachers you've ever had? How can you share what you know with others around you?


:32 Maverick remembers his friend Goose. He remembers both the good memories of his best friend, as well as the difficult and sad times. What are some ways Maverick can honor the memory of his friend? How can Maverick express his sadness in a healthy way?


:38 Phoenix says Hangman received his call sign because he’s always leaving his friends out to dry. Hangman looks after himself first and foremost, not being the best team player. Do you think Hangman would be a great leader? What do you think are the most important aspects of being a leader?


:50 The pilots are put under intense pressure during their training exercises. Colossians 3:23-24 talks about having a strong work ethic: "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." How strong is your work ethic? How can you "work as though you're working for the Lord"?


:57 Iceman tells Maverick “it’s time to let go”. Maverick responds, “I don’t know how.” Maverick says that being a fight pilot isn’t what he is, it’s who he is. What have you had trouble "letting go" of? Do you ever get confused about the difference between "who you are" and "what you do"?


1:08 Maverick explains what it will take to successfully navigate through Phase 2 of the mission. He points out that teamwork is essential. Teams can achieve far more than any individual working on their own. What's the best team you've ever been a part of? What do you think makes a great team?


1:17 Iceman passes away. His coworkers and friends honor him at his funeral. Shortly after, Maverick loses his job as a teacher and is permanently grounded. The Bible encourages us that God is always with us - especially when we are experiencing hurt, pain, and loss. Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." How do you think Maverick is feeling in this moment? What do you typically do when you experience pain and loss?


1:26 Maverick selects Rooster, instead of Hangman, to be his wingman. Why do you think Maverick chose Rooster? What do you think Hangman is feeling in this moment?


1:43 When all of the pilots were in range of the radar and missiles were all around them, Maverick sacrifices himself in order to save the others. Rooster then disobeys orders in effort to save Maverick, and ends up being hit with a missile as well. Because of our sin, we were in really big trouble. Our sin separates us from God and there's nothing we can do to make things right. But Jesus sacrificed Himself in order to save us. Ephesians 5:2 says, "Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." Why do you think Jesus sacrificed Himself for you? What is the appropriate response of someone whose life has just been saved?


1:50 In a really old F-14, Maverick and Rooster decide to get in a dogfight with 5th generation fighters. Rooster says, “it’s not the plane, it’s the pilot”. What do you think that saying means? Do you agree with that?


1:55 Hangman bails out Maverick and Rooster when they were about to be shot down. Hangman says, “good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your savior speaking.” Jesus Christ is our Savior - saving us from our sins and allowing us to be with God forever. 1 Timothy 1:15 refers to Jesus as our Savior when it says, "This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'—and I am the worst of them all." Did you realize Jesus died in order to save you? Did you think there was any other way you could be saved from your sins?