"That was some of the best flying I've seen to date...right up to the part where you got killed."
  • Jester reviewing Maverick's performance.

Rick "Jester" Heatherly was a character introduced in the movie Top Gun.

He was portrayed by Michael Ironside, who later portrayed Colonel Burton C. Andrus in the 2000 TV movie Nuremberg.

An ace fighter pilot, Jester served along side Mike "Viper" Metcalf as an instructor at the Top Gun school. As he explained to the students at the Top Gun, the school's job was to make sure that the students knew how to effectively use their fighter jets to accomplish their missions and survive.

During an early dogfighting scenario, Jester went up to test the members of the squad. Seeing a chance to get Jester, Maverick pursued him below the established 10,000 feet deck for the exercise then got him by locking weapons on him. Maverick decided to celebrate his triumph by buzzing a control tower, which got him a good dressing down by Viper. Even though it didn't count score wise, Jester had to admit to Viper that Maverick did get him. Afterwards Viper told Jester that he had flown with Mitchell's father, and that the son was a lot like his father in many ways.

During a subsequent exercise Viper joined the students in the air. Maverick was so focused on getting Viper that he left his wingman to get him, that he didn't see Jester coming up to lock weapons on him. Afterwards Jester told Maverick that up until getting killed that had been some of Mitchell's best flying to date.

After an accident that took the life of Maverick's RIO Goose, Maverick suffered a severe loss of confidence. Jester informed Viper that Maverick was refusing to engage, but Viper told Jester to keep sending him up, that sooner or later Maverick would either get his confidence back or would drop out of the program.

Maverick would regain his confidence as a pilot during a live fire situation in the Gulf, shooting down four MIGs in the process. Due to his heroism Maverick was given a choice of duty assignments, and decided to return to Top Gun as an instructor. Jester continued working alongside Maverick at Top Gun as an instructor.

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