Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Naval aviation movie, Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. And while we all have our own opinions on the quality of the movie, we can't deny the effect it had on the world, or at the very least the United States.
Despite whatever you thought of the movie, it's pretty obvious that at one point or another you wanted to be a naval aviator. Now maybe that dream died away when you realized you're deathly afraid of flying. Or you realized you didn't want to go into dogfights no matter how cool it looked. Or your medical attributes were just not up to par. But there are those who still felt that this is what they wanted to do. These young men then went out to the Navy recruitment offices in their area and requested to become pilots. The Navy has actually reported that the amount of young male recruits interested in being a naval aviator went up 500% after the movie's release. Honestly, the only mistake the Navy made when this movie was released was not having recruiters stationed outside the theater waiting for the moviegoers to leave.
This result bolstered the Navy and presumably other branches of the military as well. Not only that, but it has been heralded as one of the best movies ever made. Of course that's up for debate, but the movie obviously has had lasting effects on our country. So, it's natural to assume that the sequel we didn't even know we wanted would have a similar effect. But at this point everyone either knows they want to fly or know they never want to fly. So, what could Jerry Bruckheimer incorporate to make the sequel interesting and relevant in today's society? Drones!
Drones are the next best thing in any situation, not just military. Want to get aerial shots of a house for your real estate business? Use a drone. Want to see if your solar panels are in danger of overheating? Use a drone. Want to keep an eye on your dog as it wanders around your backyard threatening to hop the fence? Use a drone. Want to find the source of your leaky roof? Use a drone. Want to cheaply and effectively neutralize an enemy battalion? Use a drone. Want to make an awesome movie about the way the military is changing in today's society? Use a drone.
Drones are the future. And our military is already using drones. In fact, the US has been using drones since 2000. And since then, our use of drones has continuously increased and along with it, the demand for drone pilots have increased. Our military has actually begun allowing enlisted members to become pilots. Sure, they're drone pilots, but with that becoming the new norm they'll soon enough outpace our real pilots.
But there has been something else on the rise along with these new drones. Fear. More than a third of Americas are afraid that these drones are being used as flying peeping Tom bots. That every drone they see is going to be used to look through their windows or fly over their houses and take pictures of them while they're not paying attention. And while that fear is understandable, it's completely unfounded based on the actual use of drones.
As I've mentioned above, drones are used for many things other than looking in your window. Because if someone really wants to look through your window, let's be real, shooting their drone out of the sky is not going to stop them. All that will do is hit you with a destruction of property charge and land you in trouble and liable for the drone you destroyed because you thought everyone wants to see you in your home.
To combat this poorly placed fear, Hollywood has come up with an alternative solution. And that is through the use of drones. More so than that, they're making a movie all about drones and how they're useful in the military.
Top Gun 2 will focus strongly on drones and the effect that they have on the military. More specifically, it will call attention to the way that drone use is affecting the dog fighters of Maverick and Iceman's time. It will show the discomfort and controversy within the military on the use of drones. Mainly, this disagreement is between the fighter pilots and the drone pilots. So we'll see many people not liking the drones.
But here's the thing: Hollywood and the military both want to continue to use drones. So if that's the case, why would they paint the drones in a bad light? Well, they won't. Despite what the closed minded public think of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones are actually not dangerous or harmful when used properly. And if Hollywood wants to continue its use of drones, it will have to portray their usefulness in this upcoming sequel.
The best way for them to show to the world that drones are not to be feared and are actually quite useful would be by bringing back Iceman and Maverick (which is what they're doing). To optimize their return, they'd have to bring back the rivalry we loved from the original. And to do that, they'd have them be rival instructors. Iceman being the drone instructor and Maverick being the flight instructor.
The two would go head to head and encourage a rivalry between their students. The separate groups of students will think the other side isn't as good as they are. Because at least Maverick's students are real pilots. But Iceman's students are the future and have more job security. Blah, blah, blah. An assignment given to both groups could be ways to combat enemy drones. Both classes develop two different ideas that could work potentially to bring down the drones.
Jump ahead to a fight with an enemy force, both the fighter pilots and drone pilots scramble. The enemy drones come in fast and dangerously. Both drone pilots and fighter pilots eliminate the threat actually using the other class's weapon of choice. The movie would end on a high note proving that the US military is once again the leaders in aviation as we have found not just one but two effective ways to bring down enemy drones.
Now I bet you're thinking that by showing the world that there are bad people out there using drones is a bad idea. Well, then you'd be wrong. You see, by showing that there are people out there, it deflects the fear from the general public and the military to the people we should be combating. And more than that, it shows that we are confident enough in ourselves to be able to combat drones. We can actually take them down effectively.
But more than that, if done right, the general public's view on drones will shift. Instead of fearing them, people will actually like them. And potentially want to own and pilot one, possibly even for the military. Because while only certain people can become pilots, anyone can become a drone pilot. Theses new drone enthusiasts will want to join the Navy as a naval drone pilot and will be the next batch of enlisted in the military. It will bolster our military and make our country that much safer. And more than that, we'll have even more ways to stop enemy drones.
So maybe Top Gun 2 won't change the world, but it will definitely change the way we view drones. And that fear that should not be, will disappear or at the very least be mitigated.