Ever since “Top Gun,” the Tom Cruise led drama about a naval aviator finding romance and his life’s meaning at the United States Navy’s Top Gun school, blazed across the big screen in the Reagan eighties, fans have wondered when and if there would be a sequel. Cruise has announced that the “Top Gun 2” is finally going to happen and will begin filming next year.

‘Top Gun’ was a Navy recruiting film disguised as entertainment

Top Gun” was the perfect 1980s film, featuring young stars like Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards, as well as older actors including Tom Skerrit and Michael Ironsides.

It featured hot young naval aviators tearing up the skies in their F 14 and Cruise romancing the beautiful, but brainy astrophysicist played by McGillis on the ground. Cruise’s character’s journey to manhood climaxed in an aerial battle with an unidentified but presumably East Bloc enemy in which the Americans, as usual, triumphed. Cruise became a Top Gun instructor and got the girl. The movie glamorized military life in the Reagan era and served as a recruitment vehicle ever since.

So what will ‘Top Gun 2’ be about?

Naval aviation has changed somewhat in the 30 years between the original movie and now, Aviators are thundering off the decks of carriers in F 18 Super Hornets and are regularly called on to drop bombs on terrorist targets around the world.

The stealthy F 35C is on the horizon, having worked through certain technical issues, currently being used for training and testing before being deployed on carriers.

Cruise did not open his mind about the plot for “Top Gun 2.” However, press reports over the past few years suggested a story in which the powers that be decide to replace piloted aircraft with drones.

Cruise’s character, now presumably an admiral, fights against this decision, setting up a competition between piloted planes and the drones to test the superiority of people vs. machines. No guarantee exists that this plot described above will be the actual movie, however.

Who would be in the new movie?

Tom Cruise and perhaps Val Kilmer, who played another aviator in the original movie, will be in the film.

One would hope that Kelly McGillis, whose career, typical of older actresses in ageist Hollywood, has seen better days will also be in the movie. We can expect a cast of hot young stars, of both genders this time, will be available to play the younger aviators who will no doubt benefit from Cruise’s venerable wisdom as they fly into the danger zone sometime in the next year or so.