California's Rainbow Canyon, nestled on the western rim of Death Valley and lovingly nicknamed the 'Star Wars Canyon' by aviation aficionados, has been a favorite training ground for U.S. military aviators since World War II.
It's also, apparently, the backdrop of at least part of the upcoming Top Gun sequel.
Captain Marvel is energy-blasting and face-punching its way onto screens March 8, with Brie Larson starring as Carol Danvers, in Marvel Comics' latest addition to its cinematic universe. The full-length blockbuster is exactly what we've come to expect from Marvel origin stories: It's big, ballsy, has a balance of humor and action, gratuitous but fun cameos, and a solid cast of supporting characters.
In Danvers' case, that supporting cast includes a few stars, like Samuel L. Jackson as a young Nick Fury, with two eyes and a job as an agent rather than the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., oh, and the United States Air Force. The service's involvement has been touted for months, and there's a good reason for it: In Captain Marvel, the Air Force has one of the best recruitment pitches it's had in years, and they seem to know it.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.
In 1986, Top Gun flew into theaters — and into our hearts. Sure, Tony Scott's military rom-com opus didn't wow critics and moviegoers when it first premiered, but it quickly became one of America's favorite military classics. I mean, Top Gun has everything. Tom Cruise! F-14 Tomcats! Angry, cigar-smoking staff officers! Sweet motorcycles! Volleyball!
Ships from the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and other cruiser-destroyer units based at Naval Station Norfolk sailed into the Atlantic earlier this month for the East Coast's first Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training, or SWATT, exercise with a carrier group.