When I saw this question come up, I had Top Gun Maverick Goose Iceman Jester Charlie Couger Viper shirt to think about it. Everything else that is wrong with Top Gun, this is one plot point that I’d never considered. The writers are trying to tell you that Maverick is okay now, that he’s moved on. That may be true in the movie universe, but then something else hit me. I still only own one pair of dog tags, and they are the original pair that I was issued…but that is not necessarily the case for everyone. Here’s the problem: the plot killed Goose very violently in a manner based on true events. (The original screenplay killed Goose in a midair collision; the Navy vetoed that out of the script. Pete as the technical adviser was charged with finding a script-acceptable accident after the Navy said no to a midair. Also, the original romantic relationship was also with an enlisted sailor; big no-no.
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Keep in mind that Goose was wearing Top Gun Maverick Goose Iceman Jester Charlie Couger Viper shirt his dog tags while playing volleyball. I’m not sure if I believe that Maverick would have had the presence of mind to pull the tag necklace from Goose’s broken neck given that his body would have fallen to the bottom of the ocean, and I’m not convinced that such a violent impact combined with the slipstream of ejection wouldn’t have separated the necklace from its owner. There’s also the fact that the rescue chopper picked them both up, and I have no doubt that a living has at some point ridden home with a dead one and pulled items from a body. People also lose dog tags; there’s nothing saying that Goose did not own more than one pair.