A few months ago, when it was first revealed that Carol Danvers’ cat Chewie would undergo a name change in the Captain Marvel movie, most people assumed that it was a Top Gun reference they were slipping into the movie. Now that’s confirmed.
Disney’s D23 website ran a featured on Goose and the four cats who play him in the movie, and in it they confirmed that the name is meant to be a fun reference to Top Gun:
“The name “Goose” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the classic action flick Top Gun, which featured the fighter pilot buddies Maverick and Goose.”
There’s still not an official explanation as to why the name was changed from Chewie. We know Star Wars exists in the MCU from Spider-Man’s reference in Civil War and the LEGO Death Star in Homecoming. It’s likely it’s tied to merchandise, trademark issues, or a combination of factors that changed Chewie to Goose in the movie.