‘Top Gun: Maverick’ has fans debating the best legacy sequel ever made

top gun maverick
via Paramount

Modern Hollywood has become so consumed by the desire to expand or reinforce its most valuable IP at any cost that we’ve become inundated with various buzzwords used to describe the various offshoots of an established property.

We’ve now got sequels, prequels, reboots, sidequels, preboots, requels, spinoffs, reimaginings, reinventions, and countless other phrases that sound completely made up but have genuinely been used to describe various film and television projects, but is Top Gun: Maverick going to move the straightforward legacy sequel back to the top of the pile?

A 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, 99 percent user rating, and a record-breaking Memorial Day opening weekend would surely establish Tom Cruise’s return to the cockpit as the subgenre’s finest example to date, but social media users aren’t quite so sure. As confident as we are that more long-delayed continuations will arrive on Maverick‘s coattails, fans are putting forward their own suggestions for which title really ranks as the cream of the crop.

From a purely critical standpoint, it’s hard to look beyond Top Gun: Maverick, but the likes of Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and TRON: Legacy all have plenty of supporters. Mel Gibson is gearing up to direct Lethal Weapon 5, too, so Pete Mitchell is going to be far from the last 1980s icon to be dusted off and thrown back onto the big screen after decades in hibernation.

Either way, the era of blockbuster originality ended a long time ago, so we’ll need to get comfortable with a new onslaught of legacy sequels, whether we asked for them or not.