It has been almost 30 years since Top Gun debuted in cinemas.
And today, with the film showing on the big screen at our 4th of July Festival, we thought there was no better time to examine one of the most quintessentially American movies of all time, and imagine what it might have been like had it been set in Ireland.
1. The introductory title card would be different
On March 3, 1969 the Irish Air Corps established a school of no particular importance for all five of its pilots. Its purpose was to give them something to do while waiting for something interesting to happen and to insure that a mighty time was had by all.
Today, the Irish Air Corps call it Special Flying School.
The flyers call it:
2. There would be considerably less planes
Due to the Irish Air Corps having a considerably smaller budget, all the pilots would have to share a plane.
3. The pilots would have different call-signs
Say goodbye to Maverick, Goose, Cougar, Merlin and Iceman. Say hello to Gombeen, Horse, Bosco, 40 Coats and Dry Shite.
4. There would be a different bogey in the opening scene
It wouldn’t be a Russian MiG that the F-14s scramble to intercept in the opening scene. The pilots would be trying to track down a particularly large and violent seagull that has been stealing everyone’s chips from the West Pier in Howth.
5. Cougar would be freaking out for a different reason
It wouldn’t be the Russian MiG that would have Cougar rattled in the opening scene. After a night of drinking he’d almost crash his plane after being consumed by The Fear.
6. Stinger would have a different rebuke for Maverick
Instead of saying “Your ego’s writing cheques your body can’t cash,” Stinger would say “Here. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
7. There would be no more danger zone
Instead of Danger Zone, a different '80s anthem would accompany the images of Maverick riding his motorbike next to a F-14: Boys From County Hell by The Pogues
8. The Animal Night would be in a different location
Maverick would turn to Goose as they entered Coppers and say, with more chance of it being true this time, “Goose, even you could get laid in a place like this.”
9. The Loving Feeling would remain lost
Maverick would instead be joined by his fellow navy men in a rendition of The Fields of Athenry. Midway through the second verse he’d completely forget he was doing it to impress a woman, and finish the song by nominating Goose for a noble call.
10. Maverick would have a different secretive retort
Instead of responding to Charlie’s questions about the location of the MiG with “I could tell you that, but then I’d have to kill you,” Maverick would say “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”
11. Goose would have a hard time keeping his composure
While being pursued by Jester (or Mr. Tayto as he would be in the Irish version), Goose would frantically say “He’s right up our hole!” rather than “He’s on our tail.”
12. Maverick would get leeway from Viper for a different reason
“I couldn’t kick him out, sure didn’t I fly with his father? I’d never hear the end of it.”
13. The pilots would unwind playing a different sport
14. Maverick and Goose would not say “I feel the need, the need for speed,”
They would say “They’re waitin’ for a batin’.”
15. Goose’s fate would be the same, but the reason would be different.
Goose would die after a St. Patrick’s Day stunt went horribly awry.
16. Charlie would never get to put the roof down on her convertible
Which could be a problem, because by the looks of it in the film, she can never get the top up.
17. Iceman wouldn’t have a word to say about Goose’s death
In keeping with the Irish tradition of repressing any emotional talk with another man, Iceman would have stood awkwardly behind Maverick, wanting to say something nice about Goose but instead saying “Some weather we’re having isn’t it?”
18. Viper’s motivational speech to Maverick would be different
Instead of inspiring Maverick to get back in a plane by recounting tales of heroism about his father, Viper would inspire Maverick to get back in the saddle under the promise of a desk job and a guaranteed pension.
19. Maverick would get salt on his wound
It wouldn’t be enough that Maverick arrived at Charlie’s house to see it vacant, he’d also be slapped with yet another ticket for riding his motorbike without a helmet. Being a maverick can be costly.
20. The mission briefing would not start on time
No one would show up for the mission briefing on time.
“They said 9, sure no one will be there till half past, I’ll head in around 10.”
21. Budget restrictions would hit again.
When faced with the task of confronting six MiGs, the severely under-resourced Irish Air Corps would have to resort to flying model planes hoping that it would trick the Russians making them think that the planes were just really far away.
22. This wouldn’t happen.
There wouldn’t be a group of cheering crewmen greeting Maverick as he touched down after saving the day. No, the Irish wouldn’t want to let someone know they did well in case they got ideas about themselves.
Instead Maverick would be greeted by a single old fella with a rollie hanging out the corner of his mouth saying “I suppose you think you’re great now, do ya?”
23. Iceman and Maverick would not be friends by the end of the film.
Instead when Iceman in a show of friendship and respect says to Maverick “You can be my wingman any time,” Maverick would simply respond with “I will yeah,” and brush past him.