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I feel the need... The need for speed!
~ Maverick and Goose

Lt. Pete Mitchell, callsign "Maverick", is the main protagonist of the 1986 movie Top Gun, directed by the late Tony Scott.

He was portrayed by the legendary actor, Tom Cruise, who also played Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible films, Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai, Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher films, and Nick Morton in The Mummy (2017).

Biography

He is an F-14 Tomcat pilot for the United States Navy. After a mission to intercept some MiGs ends with Maverick helping Cougar land his plane on the carrier, Cougar turns in his wings from the Navy and Maverick and Goose are sent to Top Gun at Miramar. The reason behind Maverick's reckless flying is because of the death of his father, Duke Mitchell, on November 5, 1965, when his plane was shot down in a dogfight during the Vietnam War.

While at Top Gun, Maverick falls in love with flight instructor Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood and becomes a rival with another pilot, Iceman, who considers Maverick to be dangerous. At the same time, Maverick's reckless flying annoys and impresses Jester simultaneously which is shown when he defeats Jester in combat, while violating two rules of engagement the process.

In another flight, Maverick leaves his wingmen Hollywood and faces off against Viper, the "finest pilot in the world". However, Jester manages to defeat Maverick before Maverick can take Viper down. Then, tragedy strikes when during a training exercise,

Iceman breaks off formation and Maverick flies through the jet wash of Iceman's F-14, causing his plane to suffer a flameout and to go into a flat spin. While Maverick ejects from the plane, Goose is ejected into the canopy, colliding on impact and killing him. Although the board of inquiry clears Maverick, Maverick is feeling guilty over the death of Goose and is unable to concentrate.

He is thinking about quitting until he talks with Viper, who reveals that he had flown with Maverick's father. In the climax, Maverick, Iceman, and Hollywood are to mount a rescue mission to help a disabled communications ship known as the SS Layton. Maverick is partnered up with Merlin, and during the mission, Hollywood is shot down by the MiGs and Hollywood and Wolfman eject safely. When Maverick flies into the battle, Maverick flies through one of the MiGs' jet wash but retains his control. After recovering, Maverick and Iceman manage to shoot down four of the MiGs as well as force the others to flee.

Maverick tosses Goose's dogtags into the ocean, and Maverick and Iceman finally become friends. When Maverick is offered to return to Top Gun, he decided to become an instructor. Maverick is last seen meeting Charlie at the bar while "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" plays.