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Top Gun fans have praised the new sequel for reinstating the Taiwanese flag on Maverick's jacket after it was removed for the trailer.
Fans of the original 1986 film will be familiar with the leather jacket worn by Tom Cruise's character Maverick, which featured a number of patches on the back including the Japanese and Taiwanese flag in commemoration of his father's tours to the two countries.
The jacket makes a return in the new sequel Top Gun: Maverick, but when a trailer for the film was released in 2019 fans noticed it had undergone some changes.
Both the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches had been replaced in the trailer with different, but similarly coloured, patches, prompting fans to speculate that Chinese film distributor and production company Tencent Pictures had something to do with the decision.
Beijing sees the recognition of Taiwan as an independent country as a challenge to its own sovereignty, instead considering it to be part of its own territory. It has previously boycotted companies for implying Taiwan was its own country, and as a result Apple has censored the Taiwan flag emoji for iPhone users in China.
Following the release of the trailer, one fan wrote: "Well, that does it. Not getting a dime from me, not in the theater or on any streaming platform."
Another commented: "Why Tom? Taiwan is a free country! Why do this for China?"
Went an advanced screening of Top Gun: Maverick yesterday. First thing I saw was apparently the Taiwan flag that was removed or replaced in the trailer is in the movie. Not a big deal but as a immigrant from there, it was a thrill to me.— Ming Lu (@minglu778) May 25, 2022
Though creators have not offered an explanation as to why the flags were removed, many fans were pleased to see they had been reinstated in the final cut of the film, which was released in cinemas on 27 May.
One Twitter user, who saw the film in an advanced screening, wrote that the Taiwanese flag was the 'first thing' they saw, adding: "Not a big deal but as a immigrant from there, it was a thrill to me."
Ho Siu Bun, a film critic in Hong Kong, told VICE World News the decision to include the Taiwanese flag after its previous removal was 'unprecedented', noting that 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," he continued. "So no one knows why they changed it back.”
Top Gun: Maverick has not yet been given a release date in China, though fans in Taiwan are said to have cheered and clapped at the sight of their flag when it appeared in the film.
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Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures
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