The official ending involves an actual battle with enemy fighter jets over hostile waters. Tom Cruise and friends scratch four bogies and rescue a stricken communications ship. High-fives and hugs are liberally exchanged, and all seems to end pretty well for the Top Gun graduating class of 1985.
"Well done. Now take off your shirt and grab a ball."
The Horrific Aftermath:
While the film never made it clear which nation the U.S. engages, the initial script and audio commentary indicate that it was supposed to be North Korea. This would account for the red stars on the pilots' helmets and the fact that they were piloting state of the art MiGs they could have only gotten from the Soviet Union at the time.
"I have you now."