Top Gun - 1986

Top Gun - 1986
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: language, sexual content


Overview: As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.


Themes: friendship, bravery, courage, pride, arrogance, death/grieving, competitiveness, perseverance

The Quick 3

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

1. Arrogance. How do you think Maverick became so arrogant? Why do you think arrogance is so harmful to a person?

  • Maverick had a big ego, thinking he was the best pilot in the entire Navy. Many others recognize how arrogant he was. Arrogance is the attitude of being overly proud of yourself. Romans 12:3b says, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”


2. Friendship. Who are some of your closest friends? How do they support you and help you?

  • When flying, Maverick and Goose had to work together in order to accomplish something they could never do by themselves. Maverick would fly and Goose would support. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”


3. Reconciliation. Have you ever reconciled with someone that you always thought would be your enemy? What is your reaction to the fact that Jesus Christ reconciled us back to God?

  • Even though they were once enemies, Maverick and Iceman reconcile their differences and become good teammates. We reconcile our differences with others because Jesus reconciled our relationship with God. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” Our sin separated us from God and made us enemies. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, our sins are forgiven and we can be with God forever.

After The Movie Discussion Guide

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

1. Maverick and Goose were close friends and flying partners. Their friendship was strong and they had a lot of trust with one another. Who is your closest friend? What makes them such a great friend to you?


2. Maverick had a big ego, thinking he was the best pilot in the entire Navy. Many others recognize how arrogant he was. Arrogance is the attitude of being overly proud of yourself. Romans 12:3b says, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” How do you think Maverick became so arrogant? Why do you think arrogance is so harmful to a person?


3. Maverick and Iceman had a big rivalry. They competed against each other, wanting to beat each other every chance they got. Do you have any rivals? What makes your relationship so competitive?


4. Maverick was seen as dangerous because every time he was in the air, he was doing something unsafe. He was so confident in his abilities that he put other people at risk. He had trouble taking other people’s advice and refused to listen to wise counsel. Proverbs 18:2 says, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” How often do you take people’s advice? Do you ever neglect wise counsel and do something that is unsafe?


5. Viper gives Maverick advice, saying he needs to evaluate his experience and change his behavior based on what he’s learned. That was something Maverick really struggled with. How often do you evaluate your life experience to try to figure out how to do things better in the future? Are you open to feedback and adjusting your behavior?

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.

:12 Maverick risked his own safety in order to go back and save Cougar. Cougar was stressed and anxious, and he needed help. Maverick showed a lot of bravery in that moment. Bravery is having the courage to make good choices, even when you’re afraid. Do you think Maverick made the right choice? When was the last time you showed bravery?


:19 Maverick and Goose meet Iceman, who is known to be the best fighter pilot in Top Gun. Iceman got his callsign for being ice cold and never making mistakes. Do you know anyone who seems perfect? Do you think they are actually perfect, or do they probably make mistakes that just aren’t as visible to others?


:32 When flying, Maverick and Goose had to work together in order to accomplish something they could never do by themselves. Maverick would fly and Goose would support. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Who are some of your closest friends? How do they support you and help you?


:45 Maverick shared memories of his mother and father. He had fond memories of his mom listening to music, but he didn’t know much about his dad. What are some of your favorite memories of your parents? How would you describe the relationship you have with them?


:57 Maverick was suppose to protect his friend, but instead he went after Viper. Maverick was selfish and over-confident, focusing more on making a name for himself than accomplishing the assignment given to him. Proverbs 16:18 says, “If you are proud, you will be destroyed. If you are proud, you will fall.” Why is pride such a dangerous sin? When have you made a similar bad decision; something that was prideful and foolish?


1:09 Goose is critically injured during flight training. He eventually dies due to those injuries. Maverick takes responsibility and feels guilty for the death of his best friend. What do you think Maverick is feeling in this moment? What is the best way for him to react to such a painful moment?


1:20 Charlie tries to convince Maverick not to quit. She encourages him by saying that everyone makes mistakes. Maverick struggles with perseverance, which is the ability to get through difficult tasks. Have you ever wanted to quit something that really mattered to you? What did you end up doing?


1:35 Maverick considers disengaging from his duties, afraid that he might make another mistakes that would hurt somebody. Instead, he chose courage and re-engaged in his assignment. He provided support to his peers and acted with bravery. How difficult do you think Maverick’s choose was? Have you ever been afraid to take action because you were afraid to screw up?


1:41 Even though they were once enemies, Maverick and Iceman reconcile their differences and become good teammates. We reconcile our differences with others because Jesus reconciled our relationship with God. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” Our sin separated us from God and made us enemies. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, our sins are forgiven and we can be with God forever. Have you ever reconciled with someone that you always thought would be your enemy? What is your reaction to the fact that Jesus Christ reconciled us back to God?