Top Gun Day
Top Gun burst into theaters in 1986 right at the height of The Brat Pack’s decade of headbangers, neon and headbangers. It was a hit at the box office, earning just over $356million. This made it the 11th most successful movie of Tom Cruise’s entire career. Maverick is a highly skilled pilot who is sent to the US Navy Fighter Weapons School and all the drama, pride, and testosterone that comes with it.
On Captain Frank Ault’s recommendation, the Navy Fighter Weapons School was established in 1969 during the Viet Nam War by Thomas Hinman Moorer (Chairman of Naval Operations). It was then that it became apparent that Navy fighter pilots required more training.
Nearly 1,000 American aircraft were lost over North Vietnamese skies during Operation Rolling Thunder. Both the Navy and USAF sought to determine the cause, but they came up with two distinct conclusions. Air Force thought the fault was mechanical. MiG pilots had caught American pilots in an rear blind spot. The Navy determined that the problem was in training. The Air Force responded with new technology and the Navy created the Top Gun School. This school eventually led to 110 minutes of action packed action, accompanied by a roaring theme tune.
Top Gun Day is a celebration of the movie, but it’s really all about attitude. It is about teamwork…and sexless volleyball. How do you get to the danger zone?
These ideas can help you get started.
Reliving the adventures of Goose and Maverick is a good way to start. You can go to a karaoke place and sing “She’s Lost That Loving Feeling” or “Take My Breath Away”. Or, you could play some volleyball with others. You don’t have to wear a shirt. Get some Kenny Loggins to blast “Danger Zone‚Äù out of your car windows as loudly as possible.
Maybe karaoke doesn’t suit you and the weather isn‚Äôt ideal for sports. You can still enjoy your day in other ways!
Invite your friends and family to a party to celebrate Top Gun Day. Invite friends and family to dress up as their favorite characters. Before you settle in to watch the movie, entertain your guests by playing Top Gun trivia.
Don’t forget to bring a pair dark aviator glasses along with an old leather jacket while you watch the movie. You can even make your own flight suit by finding a pair or overalls! You could even make it into a double-feature with other movies about jet fighters of the era like the less well-known Iron Eagle. This movie actually came out just a few months prior to Top Gun.
You can have snacks at the party that include cookies with airplane or naval-themed shapes, such as patriotic M&Ms in red, blue and white, cookies in the shape of stars, clouds, or airplanes, and even aviator glasses. You can use quotes from Top Gun, as well as stars and stripes, American flags, or naval decorations.
The music at Top Gun Day is crucial, of course. The movie won more awards in the soundtrack and music category than any other category. This movie is filled with classic 80s songs like these:
There are many quotable lines in Top Gun that can be used to make an impact. You can ask your friends permission to go up the tower. You can ask your friends for permission to buzz the tower, but if they refuse, you can still do it. If they ask you to buzz the tower, make sure to respond “Negative Ghost Rider” because the pattern is full. Just be ready for them to buzz your face anyway.
You can also tell everyone you meet that you are looking for speed. Other great lines include “You can be mine wingman forever”, and “Let’s turn, burn!”
Two Top Gun video games are currently available. Freeverse Software released the first, simply called Top Gun, for iOS devices. Top Gun: Hardlock is the second. It is available from 505 Games and can be played on PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.
You can enjoy the movie in many different ways. But, one of the most meaningful things you can do is to go find an aviator or member of the armed force and say thank you for protecting the skies. Without someone up there, we may not have the movie or the day.