Pete "Maverick" Mitchell mentors a new generation of U.S. Navy fighter pilots.
Very Rare 2020 TEASER poster showing the back of a leather bomber jacket worn by Tom Cruise's character Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell with the flags of Japan and Taiwan edited and replaced with nonsensical symbols. The change to the patches was interpreted by many to be another example of Hollywood censorship geared to please the Chinese government, particularly because Chinese internet giant Tencent was one of Paramount's partners on the film.
However, three years later, with the long-awaited release of "Top Gun" the flags on Maverick's jacket appear to have been restored.
The Taiwan and Japan flags were replaced in a 2019 trailer for the film, seemingly to appease China.
As the opening credits scene of the film commences, Maverick can be seen examining his jacket in his old locker as he slowly puts it on. The original version of the naval patch with the Taiwan and Japan flags is clearly visible.
Taiwanese audiences were heartened to see the Taiwan flag restored, but many Chinese internet users were angered.
The jacket first appeared in the original "Top Gun" in 1986. A large patch on its back commemorates a real-life US battleship's tour of Japan, Taiwan, and the Western Pacific. Fittingly, the patch displayed the flags of the US, United Nations, Japan, and Taiwan.
The Taiwanese flag is seen as a symbol of independence and defiance by Beijing, which considers the island to be Chinese territory. Meanwhile, Japan occupied China during World War II, and the two countries still have bad blood from the fighting seven decades ago.
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.