All that lovingly-photographed military hardware, that synth-pop soundtrack featuring two Kenny Loggins tunes, and a grinning Tom Cruise at his cockiest. He felt the need for speed, and for 30 years (since the film's release on May 16, 1986), you've been watching Cruise's Maverick soar in his fighter jet and overcome his paternal-abandonment issues.
Still, as many times as you've re-watched "Top Gun," there's a lot you may not know about the this '80s classic. Here are the Navy pilot saga's secrets, declassified.
1. The film originated as "Top Guns," a 1983 article by Ehud Yonay in California Magazine. It profiled the Navy pilot training center at Miramar, in San Diego, and featured aerial photography by a Top Gun pilot. Co-screenwriter Jack Epps Jr. researched the script by attending Top Gun classes and getting flown around in an F-14.
2. Tom Cruise wasn't actually