The bomber jacket of Top Gun‘s Maverick is looking a bit more familiar in international trailers these days, according to a report in Fortune. Two flag patches on the back of the jacket – representing Taiwan and Japan – appear to have been returned to their original spots.
The flags were missing, or obscured, in a 2019 trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, leading some observers to speculate that the images had been removed to appease China’s censors. Fortune cites Taiwan News as noting that a more recent trailer has restored the original flag emblems to the jacket.
Within the Top Gun universe, the jacket is worn by Tom Cruise’s Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as a tribute to his late father, who wore the jacket while a member of the U.S. Navy. The garment made its cinematic debut in the 1986 Top Gun film.
In the 2019 trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, the jacket appeared to have emblems only slightly resembling the original flags.
According to Vice World News, Hong Kong film critic Ho Siu Bun called the reinstatement of the flags “unprecedented,” saying, “Major film studios have never been shy about pandering to the Chinese market. And even if it is a simple scene, editing is very costly. So no one knows why they changed it back.”
The Daily Mail has noted some negative social media reaction to the reinstatement, quoting one Chinese commenter as saying, “Fine, don’t take our money. We will watch the pirated version.”
Top Gun: Maverick producers have not commented on the matter.
Below is a 2019 tweet showing a screen capture of the jacket without the flags:
There’s a new Top Gun movie coming out. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket – only this time it’s Communist Party of China-approved, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot on right is from the new trailer)… pic.twitter.com/gUxFNFNUKX
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) July 19, 2019