Study Guide

Top Gun Charlie (Kelly McGillis)

Charlie (Kelly McGillis)

Charlotte Blackwood, a.k.a. Charlie, is one of Maverick's instructors at Top Gun, and his main squeeze. She's classy, educated (PhD in Astrophysics? That ain't nothing), and knows how to put Maverick in his place, which she does during their first encounter.

Not only does she refuse to go home with him, she doesn't tell him that she works as an instructor at Top Gun. While Maverick will play his own games later, it's Charlie who wins the first few rounds—she gently rebukes him at the nightclub, as we've already mentioned, and she still plays coy when Maverick hits on her again during a study hall session. To say she can hold her own against handsome pilots is an understatement.

A Flying Expert Who Doesn't Fly

A woman in a man's world, Charlie knows just about everything there is to know about aerial combat and the technology behind jet-fighters, MiGs and everything in between. She has a very high level of security clearance, and she does a lot of work for the Pentagon.

Which means she's in the perfect position to teach Maverick a thing or two about flying, even though he's a little hesitant to listen to anybody (he gets mad when she criticizes his flying during a teaching session).What Charlie doesn't have is practical experience of aerial combat, and in this regard she comes just a little short. But that's no matter. The Pentagon trusts her.

Charlie has her own set of rules, one of which is no dating students, and no inviting them over for dinner. Something about Maverick makes her question her resolve, however, and while she acts like she just wants to talk about the MiG, it's clear that she finds something irresistible about him (it's probably his confidence, and the fact that on at least two occasions he refuses to kiss her when she seems to want to be kissed). Apparently, Charlie is a little flexible, and she finally admits that she's fallen for him.

She's also a pretty caring woman who's not afraid to let Maverick have it once in a while (she screams at him on the side of the road to make it clear that her review of his flying was spot on). She's there for him after Goose's death, and she forgives him for trying to quit without saying goodbye, even though he acts like a jerk and shuts her out.

Stick With It Kind of Lady

Ultimately, Charlie never gives up. She doesn't give up on the promotion she gets and ultimately takes, and she even comes back for Maverick at the end, surprising him with the song he sang to her when they first met. She knows Maverick is a catch, or at least she thinks he is, and he's worth coming back for. The fact that she talks just like him during that final romantic scene proves that she, too, has learned something from Maverick, much like he has from her.

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