Starscream (F-15) wasn't in the first one.
That being said, there is a shot near the end where we see an F-14 flying off over the mountains, so that's weird since it's been retired for 13 years. Maybe the movie starts with a flashback segment... or spoiler! Maverick goes to fly for Iran.
It was a reference to the scene where Goose goes to meet his family and his son has Starscream in his hand the entire time. *feelingoldnow*
Oh dang that's right, totally forgot about that!