Scholars Ponder Top Gun


The movie Top Gun: Maverick is breaking box office records. Here are some questions that online scholars may ponder to develop their understanding of the film.

  1. Mathematics.  How do the box office receipts compare to other movies? What does it mean to adjust the receipts for inflation?
  2. Physics. Which flying maneuvers generate forces on the pilots and why? What kinds of forces are generated? Why do some airplanes fly faster than others?
  3. Computer science. How does the missile keep itself pointed at the targeting laser dot?
  4. Biology. Why do the pilots experience physical distress when subjected to the forces generated while flying?
  5. History. Which real country is most closely analogous to the fictional one that is attacked in the movie?
  6. Philosophy. When (if ever) is it morally permissible for one country to go to war with another?
  7. Geography. Why do the locations in the movie display such different landforms and vegetation?
  8. Writing. What is the most memorable part of the story in the movie? What issues arise when you are writing a sequel?

Have fun discussing among yourselves!

By Karl Oles

Seattle attorney, teacher of philosophy

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