Maverick hit all the nostalgia boxes as the movie came out in the summer of 2022! People of the 80s know this was a major Tom Cruise hit, and the sequel was long-awaited. It introduces a second generation of aviators with their pilot call signs. The call signs in the movie have a deeper meaning and will provide you with an insight into each character, their personalities, and even the skillset they hold.
So without any delay, let’s dive in and decode the meaning behind every call sign in Top Gun 2.
Unveiling the Meaning Behind Top Gun 2
With a massive gap of 36 years, Maverick returns again with his recklessness that lands him as an instructor. He’s been tasked with training young pilots for a dangerous mission. They all come together and take inspiration from the plan created by Maverick himself. So before you go further with the movie, it’s essential to find out the story behind each Call Sign:
Pete Mitchell’s call sign is so eminent they named the movie after him. Tom Cruise’s famous role of Maverick in Top Gun epitomizes the character’s reputation for living on the edge and defying norms. His call sign alone conveys a lot about his character and way of life. The term “Maverick” describes an unconventional and independent person who doesn’t follow the established norms and standards.
Maverick’s constant search for thrill and adrenaline is reflected in his motto, “need for speed.” Maverick is recognized as one of the best pilots despite his rebellious attitude because his insatiable need for adrenaline provides his outstanding skills. Even his other pilots, who might dislike his lack of respect for authority, can’t argue with his skill.
Maverick’s daring airborne methods, such as the iconic inverted flight, solidified his reputation as a maverick.
Bradley Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller, uses a call sign in Top Gun 2 that is deeply connected to his family’s history. Together with his unusual facial hair, Rooster pays fun tribute to his father, Goose, with his call sign. In the first movie, Goose, Maverick’s best friend and radio intercept officer, tragically died as he attempted to eject after a fighter plane engine flameout and failed.
In Top Gun: Maverick, Rooster’s presence causes Maverick to experience conflicting emotions because Goose’s death and his father’s death are interwoven. Maverick is forced to consider his eligibility as a pilot and face the results of his careless flight maneuvers as a result of the sadness and guilt surrounding these tragic events.
Rooster first shows distrust towards Maverick while acknowledging his father’s undying faith in his ability and promising not to repeat the same errors. But as the film goes on, Rooster and Maverick get closer, slowly increasing their trust. They eventually come to one other’s rescue during a crucial operation, strengthening their bond and developing a deeper understanding.
The addition of female pilots to the franchise in Top Gun: Maverick represents the advancement and a developed representation of women in flying. In Top Gun 2, Monica Barbaro plays a determined and knowledgeable recruit who gains the call sign “Phoenix.”
Phoenix’s persona shines out as one of the sequel’s most accomplished pilots, easily outperforming her fellow pilots. The call sign “Phoenix” is significant because it directly relates to the experiences of female pilots, who frequently have to prove their skills and bravery. Female pilots have encountered difficulties and setbacks, but each time they have become stronger and soared higher than before, like the legendary bird that rises from the ashes.
Lieutenant Seresin recreates the Maverick-Iceman dynamic with Rooster, despite his persona differing from Mavericks during his Top Gun days. Seresin conveys the flamboyant, self-assured pilot who has an attraction for public attention. In contrast, Rooster exhibits a stronger, cautious and succeeds as a team player.
To guarantee depth and individuality, Hangman’s character endured a lot of transformation. Powell decided not to audition because Hangman, first called “Slayer,” was a limited parody of Iceman. However, Hangman underwent significant changes to give him the needed complexity, thanks to Tom Cruise’s influence and the joint efforts of Powell, Joseph Kosinski, and Christopher McQuarrie.
This behind-the-scenes story about how Hangman changed his call sign from “Slayer” to “Hangman” is fascinating. Powell explained in an interview that “Slayer” did not align with conventional Navy call signals, requiring a change. Powell met a Naval flyer known only as “Noose” while living in San Diego. This event led Powell to change the call sign to “Hangman.” The change produced a distinctive and appropriate nickname by capturing the core of Hangman’s personality.
Fanboy, played by Danny Ramirez, is a crucial character in Top Gun: Maverick and is a highly clever young pilot. Fanboy’s call sign reflects his intense love and acts as a brilliant collaboration for another well-known franchise as part of the squad in charge of carrying out the mission’s final task.
His call sign, “Fanboy,” which is written on his helmet in the Star Trek font, honors his status as an enthusiastic and committed fan. In addition to demonstrating his passion, this gesture is a promotional connection to some of Paramount’s other popular programs.
The call sign “Coyote,” chosen by Lieutenant Javy Machado, initially seems like a good choice because it is associated with a calm and fearsome predator. But there is more to the decision to use this call sign than it initially appears.
Machado’s on-screen persona, actor Manny Jacinto, indicated it was a conscious decision to go with “Coyote” rather than a more intimidating canine predator like the wolf. This realization shows that Machado views himself as the underdog and values the traits that go along with that label. He probably tackles his work with a determined attitude, working harder and dedicating himself to overcoming challenges.
Lewis Pullman, who goes by the call sign Bob, has one of the most strange and strangely unimpressive call signs. Bob’s call sign is disappointing, unlike his other pilots’ commanding and menacing Top Gun call names. Unexpectedly, the movie skips over the importance of Bob’s call sign, allowing viewers to think about it.
The mystery surrounding Bob’s identity is increased by the lack of explanation for his call sign. The mediocre name leaves viewers guessing if it is a fun joke directed at the timid pilot, if Bob is aware of the joke, or if there is a deeper, more significant meaning.
Get Your Call Sign
Since the call signs have always been a distinctive feature of the Top Gun franchise, fans are now able to get them without going through rigorous military training. Users can build their own Top Gun 2 call sign on a website developed by the Top Gun: Maverick marketing team. The online software takes pictures of users’ faces using augmented reality (AR) and facial scanning technologies to establish the ideal call sign for every person.
The program asks a series of personality-based questions after the face scan is finished to help the selection process become more accurate. Users can take a picture with a pilot helmet filter, receive a personalized call sign as a bonus, and share it on social media or any other platform they choose. The software offers two more options if users want a different call sign after the initial choice.
If you have seen the movies, these call sign meanings will provide insight into each character and help you understand their names. But if you still haven’t, we recommend you watch the movie now. It is a great watch, and the ending makes up for the loss Top Guns fans went through in part 1.