‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star tinkles the ivories of nostalgia

miles teller top gun maverick
Image via Paramount Pictures

It can always be difficult to produce a sequel to a film that has already reached cult status, with many languishing behind their already-iconic predecessors. Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t fall into this category, with critics and fans alike praising the film as one of the best blockbusters of the year so far. One of the ways the movie is a success is that it dips its toes into nostalgia without diving headfirst, and one moment in particular is a touching standout.

Miles Teller is a new addition to the cast, if not a new character, as he plays the now grown-up son of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (this family sure like their poultry names). At the local haunt for the recruits, Rooster sits down at the piano to give audiences a trip down memory lane as he performs “Great Balls of Fire” to an exuberant bar. The scene mirrors one from the opener, where his father did the same, with a four-year-old Bradley sat atop the piano.

The actor shared a picture of the two scenes side by side – like father, like son.

The comparisons are obvious even in their attire, with both donning Hawaii print shirts and Aviators. It’s enough to make anyone feel emotional. After the shocking death of Goose in Top Gun when Bradley Bradshaw was just a kid, fans may at least feel compensated in the knowledge that his boy grew up to fill his father’s shoes, and then some.

The film seems to have done a good job of balancing these callbacks whilst still offering something fresh, as audiences have been raving about Maverick, while it currently has a 97 percent Rotten Tomato score. It also pushed Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End off the top for the highest-grossing Memorial Day holiday weekend release for good measure.

Top Gun: Maverick is now available to watch in theaters.