Rules were meant to be broken. Okay, they weren't really made to be broken, but if you asked Maverick why rules were made, he would tell you as much. Seriously, all Maverick does is break rules. Stinger's summary of Maverick's infractions is alarming, as are the additional infractions we see him make throughout the film (flybys and what not). While Maverick breaks obvious rules (like minimum altitudes and things like that), he also breaks unofficial rules: he leaves his wingman on at least one occasion, and in general he's very good at respecting the fact that Goose doesn't want to keep getting in trouble because of Maverick. Maverick isn't just your typical rebel, however, and there are complicated reasons behind his rule breaking. He's always trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, and Top Gun is all about how he finds the balance.
Questions About Rules and Order
Why is Maverick such a rebel, such a maverick?
Maverick, the rebel, ends up saving the day. Is he still a rebel at that point? Is the lesson there that it's good to be rebellious, then?
Are guys like Iceman a little too interested in playing by the rules?
Why does Goose still fly with Maverick, even though Maverick gets him in trouble all the time?
Chew on This
Even though Maverick saves the day, he doesn't do anybody any good while he's breaking rules at Top Gun.
Maverick breaks rules, sure, but he's also able to think outside the box. Sometimes, bending the rules is the only way to push the envelope and take things to the next level.