“People had a certain feeling in the original one and that one [Top Gun: Maverick] does exactly what it felt like seeing it the first time, only more so,” Edwards, 59, told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, June 9, at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. “As I said to Tom, ‘Mission accomplished.’ They did it.”
The California native, who played Nick “Goose” Bradshaw in the 1986 film alongside Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, added: “They really did though. It’s a lot of work that went into that. It had the feel, it had the tone, it had what people wanted.”
Fans of the original action film remember Edwards’ playful character, who is Maverick’s copilot in school, tragically dies during a training exercise when they are forced to abandon the jet. While Goose didn’t magically come back to life in the sequel, his memory lived on in a variety of ways.
In addition to photos of Goose and Maverick’s flashbacks of their time together at Top Gun training, the character’s son, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), plays a major role in the 2022 film.
“It’s the biggest movie that I’m in that I never had to show up for a day of work, so it was fun,” Edwards joked on Thursday.
In Top Gun, Goose was married to Carole (Meg Ryan), but she was also missing from the new movie as it’s revealed she died off screen. Maverick’s No. 1 competitor, however, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), did make a cameo.
In the latest film, Maverick is called to train a new group of the Navy’s top pilots more than 30 years after he graduated at the top of his class from the elite academy. Some of the new characters include Natasha “Phoenix” Trace (Monica Barbaro), Jake “Hangman” Seresin (Glen Powell) and Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia (Danny Ramirez).
“If you do the first movie, you’re lucky enough,” the ER alum explained on Thursday, adding, “I was lucky enough that Tom called me up. He screened it for me in person.”
He continued: “So, we actually saw it at the Dolby screening room here in New York with the best sound ever, and there was just, like, eight of us watching it. It was fantastic.”
Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters now.