We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2 jet was followed by Chinese satellite

A new jet invented for Top Gun 2 called Darkstar was so realistic that a Chinese satellite started following it during filming, says Jerry Bruckheimer

Top Gun Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is finally roaring into movie theatres on May 27, 2022, after over 30 years of waiting since the first movie, plus the additional delays since filming wrapped. And technology has certainly moved on since the mid-80s – not just in terms of Hollywood movie-making, but also with the actual fighter jets themselves.

In order to be on the cutting edge, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, and director Joseph Kosinski actually worked with Lockheed Martin to develop a new plane called Darkstar that only exists in the world of the movie. However, it is very similar to a real jet that the engineers at Skunk Works have coming out soon called the SR-72. And apparently, it’s so realistic that a Chinese satellite was actually trained on the full-scale mock up of Darkstar during production.

“The Navy told us that a Chinese satellite turned and headed on a different route to photograph that plane. They thought it was real. That’s how real it looks,” Jerry Bruckheimer told Sandboxx News. “Joe (Kosinski) worked with Skunk Works and Lockheed [Martin] to design the plane that’s in there. So they had a lot of fun doing Darkstar,” Bruckheimer continued.

Joseph Kosinski added; “The reason we approached Skunk Works is because I wanted to make the most realistic hypersonic aircraft we possibly could. In fact, we built it full-scale in cooperation with them. But the reason it looks so real is because it was the engineers from Skunk Works who helped us design it. So those are the same people who are working on real aircraft who helped us design Darkstar for this film.”

Top Gun: Maverick has surprisingly been getting rave reviews, and currently has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, from over one hundred critics. Many are saying it exceeds the first one, but that will be a tall order for those of us who love 80s movies filled with sweaty, saxophone-soaked swagger.

While we wait these agonising final few days before the release of Top Gun 2, check out our guide the best action movies.