9 Top Gun: Maverick Characters & Their Star Wars Counterpart

Defying all expectations, Top Gun: Maverick has soared into the box office stratosphere, broken all kinds of records, and taken its place as the most successful movie of the year. With its tale of plucky fighter pilots joining forces to undergo a dangerous trench run and torpedo the near-impossible target of an evil war machine, the Tom Cruise-starring sequel has been compared to the original Star Wars movie.

Rooster is the Luke Skywalker of the story, his mentor Maverick is the Ben Kenobi, and his mentor’s mentor Iceman is the Yoda. As the butt of everybody’s jokes, Bob is comparable to C-3PO. As the stern-faced military bureaucrat who provides mission briefings, Cyclone is comparable to Admiral Ackbar. Every major character in Top Gun: Maverick has a Star Wars counterpart.


9/9 Maverick – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Split image of Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick and Alec Guinness in Star Wars

Tom Cruise’s title character, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, is still playing shirtless ballgames on the beach and riding a motorcycle without a helmet on after all these years, but he’s now working as a test pilot and flight instructor. At the beginning of the movie, he’s tasked with training a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission.

Being the mentor figure whose time-tested wisdom guides the new recruits on their journey into battle makes Maverick the Ben Kenobi of the Star Wars equation. Like Kenobi, he’s the voice in the hero’s ear during the trench run.

8/9 Rooster – Luke Skywalker

Split image of Rooster in Top Gun Maverick and Luke in Star Wars

Miles Teller joined the cast of Top Gun: Maverick in the role of Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw from the first movie. Rooster is the hero of the story who defies expectations, embarks on a trench run, and saves the day.

As the son of a legacy character, destined to become a great hero like his father, Rooster is the Luke Skywalker of Top Gun: Maverick’s Star Wars parallels.

7/9 Iceman – Yoda

Split image of Iceman in Top Gun Maverick and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back

Val Kilmer makes a tearjerking cameo appearance as Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, whose rivalry with Maverick in the first movie eventually blossomed into a beautiful friendship. Now the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, Iceman keeps sticking his neck out for Maverick from behind the scenes.

Maverick pays Iceman a visit when he feels lost and needs guidance. As the mentor’s mentor, Iceman fills the role of Yoda from the original Star Wars trilogy.

6/9 Hangman – Han Solo

Split image of Hangman in Top Gun Maverick and Han Solo in Star Wars

Glen Powell gives a hilarious turn in Top Gun: Maverick as this generation’s Iceman, Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin. As the cocky lone wolf who swoops in at the last second to help out in the final battle, Hangman is very much the Han Solo of this story.

Much like Han’s dynamic with Luke in the original Star Wars movie, Hangman initially clashes with Rooster, but this eventually blossoms into a heartwarming friendship with mutual respect.

5/9 Phoenix – Leia Organa

Split image of Phoenix in Top Gun Maverick and Leia in Star Wars

Of all the mission candidates introduced around Rooster in Top Gun: Maverick, Monica Barbaro’s Lieutenant Natasha “Phoenix” Trace is one of the most memorable. With her balance of sardonic wit and earnest compassion, Phoenix is reminiscent of Leia Organa.

Phoenix doesn’t have a romantic subplot with the movie’s Han Solo stand-in, but she does share Leia’s biting sense of humor and penchant for getting in on the action.

4/9 Bob – C-3PO

Split image of Bob in Top Gun Maverick and C-3PO in Star Wars

Lewis Pullman gives a hilariously dry portrayal of Phoenix’s weapon systems officer, Lieutenant Robert Floyd, whose callsign is simply “Bob.” Bob’s nerdy demeanor and non-confrontational personality make him an easy target for barbs and insults.

As the butt of everyone’s jokes, Bob is comparable to C-3PO. Threepio is mocked by everyone except Luke and Leia, and is insulted the most by Han. Bob is mocked by everyone except Rooster and Phoenix, and is insulted the most by Hangman.

3/9 Penny – Satine Kryze

Split image of Penny in Top Gun Maverick and Satine in Star Wars

Based on a throwaway line from the first movie about “the admiral’s daughter,” Jennifer Connelly plays the main love interest in Top Gun: Maverick. Penelope “Penny” Benjamin is an old flame of Maverick’s who worries he’s going to break her heart again.

As the romantic partner of the Kenobi stand-in, the closest Star Wars character to Penny is Obi-Wan’s one-time love interest Satine Kryze. Being the Duchess of Mandalore, Satine also has a powerful father, much like Penny.

2/9 Cyclone – Admiral Ackbar

Split image of Cyclone in Top Gun Maverick and Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi

Jon Hamm provides a brilliant deadpan foil for Cruise in the role of Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, the commander of the Naval Air Forces. Cyclone begrudgingly allows Maverick to take charge of the mission at the behest of Iceman.

As the stern-faced military bureaucrat who delivers the mission briefing, Cyclone’s closest Star Wars parallel is veteran Rebel commander Admiral Ackbar, famed for his iconic line, “It’s a trap!”

1/9 Goose – Anakin Skywalker

Split image of Goose in Top Gun and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith

Rooster’s father, LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, only appears briefly in the sequel via archive footage from the original movie. Goose died in one of the most iconic and heartbreaking death scenes in action movie history. Goose’s legacy looms large over the sequel’s narrative.

In the context of Top Gun: Maverick, Goose shares parallels with the heroic version of Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father and Obi-Wan’s old war buddy, who died on Mustafar. Fortunately, Goose wasn’t resurrected as a sinister villain in the mold of Darth Vader.

NEXT: Top Gun: Maverick – 9 Best New Characters In The Sequel