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You broke your little ships...
Your little ships
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William Thomas Riker was a Human Starfleet officer perhaps best known for his long assignment as first officer under Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the USS Enterprise-E. In 2380, he finally accepted a promotion as captain of the USS Titan.[1]

Biography Edit

Battle with ShinzonEdit

Will Riker's last mission aboard the Enterprise-E was during its encounter with Praetor Shinzon in 2380. Although Riker was eager to begin his life aboard the USS Titan with Counselor Troi, he realized how important it was to stop Shinzon and was willing to sacrifice anything in order to prevent him from using his thalaron radiation weapon on Earth.

The Scimitar fought and weakened the Enterprise in the Battle of the Bassen Rift, sending several boarding parties to the ship. Riker and Worf took a security detail to fight off the invading Remans. The Reman Viceroy entered the Jefferies tubes in an attempt to reach the bridge and kidnap Captain Picard. Riker followed and they fought hand-to-hand, with Riker eventually killing the Viceroy by knocking him down an Enterprise maintenance shaft.[2]

Captain of the Titan Edit


Jean-Luc PicardEdit

When choosing a first officer prior to the launch of the Enterprise in 2363, Captain Picard nearly passed over Riker's record. He stopped when he saw the incident with Captain DeSoto and Riker's refusal to allow the captain to beam down. This was a major factor in Picard's selection of Riker as his first officer. He was impressed that a first officer would challenge a captain's authority out of regard for the safety of the captain and the crew.[3] The trust Picard held in his first officer almost certainly saved the Federation - when the Enterprise encountered the Borg cube after the massacre at Wolf 359, Locutus of Borg, after being reminded of that trust by Riker, would, though he knew perfectly well it was a lie, at least listen and respond to Riker's attempt to negotiate the circumstances of assimilation, distracting the Borg long enough to locate Locutus on the cube and effect a rescue, eventually using Picard's link to the Collective to destroy the ship in Earth orbit.[4][5]

Captain Picard was very cold towards Riker during their first meeting, and ordered the manual docking as a test of Riker's abilities. When he performed the docking with great expertise and skill, Picard formally greeted Riker, requesting that his new first officer make sure that he not allow Picard to "make an ass of himself" in front of the many children aboard the ship. One year later, Picard felt as if he had not done a good job of congratulating Riker, so he did it once more, this time making his feelings clear.[6][7]

Picard tried to counsel Riker when he was offered command of the USS Melbourne in 2366, reminding him that the Enterprise would continue without his presence and that officers like Shelby were very much as he was before he learned the lessons necessary for command of a starship.[4] Riker also came to Captain Picard for advice when Worf wanted his help with the hegh'bat (and when he struggled with a decision involving Soren.[8][9]

In early 2369, members of the Enterprise crew, including Picard, were turned into twelve-year-olds due to the effects of a molecular reversion field. Unfortunately, a group of Ferengi commandeered the Enterprise about that time. Believing Picard to be a child, he was confined to a classroom aboard the ship while Riker was held in the observation lounge. Picard threw a tantrum and demanded to see his "father," Riker. They pretended to be father and son in order for Picard to plant a suggestive message to Riker, requesting access to the Enterprise main computer from the classroom. Picard, along with the other affected Enterprise crew members, were able to design a plan to retake the Enterprise from the Ferengi.[10]

During the Pegasus incident of 2370, Picard tried to investigate the circumstances surrounding the ship's disappearance. He ran into many dead-ends as most records had been sealed, and had to use many favors in Starfleet Command to even get a look at the findings of the board convened to investigate the loss of the Pegasus. Riker would not divulge further information under the orders of Admiral Erik Pressman, and Picard reluctantly continued the search. He made it clear to Riker that he hoped he still placed the safety of the Enterprise as his top priority, and if Picard had found this to be untrue, he would re-evaluate his trust in Riker. After the crisis was resolved, Picard visited Riker in the brig and returned him to duty aboard the Enterprise, understanding of Will's mistake in the past and satisfied that he had made the correct decisions in the present.[3]

Picard served as Riker's best man during his wedding to Deanna Troi in 2380. He gave a toast to Riker, calling him his "trusted right arm" and lamenting his loss of a fine first officer.[2]

While aboard the Enterprise, Picard generally referred to Riker as "Number One", a nickname he used for his first officer.[11] Chillingly, Locutus of Borg also called Riker "Number One" while dealing with the Enterprise crew.[4][5]


Worf considered Riker one of his closest friends, despite their vastly different personalities. Riker was one of the only Humans who participated in Worf's brutally violent holodeck calisthenics program.[12] Riker also tried to convince Worf to donate his blood in order to save the Romulan Patahk, rescued from Galorndon Core in 2366. He tried to make Worf realize that this gesture of goodwill may be the first step in healing the differences between their peoples.[13]

Worf asked Riker to assist him in the hegh'bat, a Klingon ritual suicide, following his spinal cord injury in 2368. Riker was appalled by the request, feeling that Worf's life was still worth living and that suicide would be an insult to all of their comrades who had struggled for life up until their death. He researched the tradition before coming to Worf with his decision. He found that the hegh'bat was generally practiced with the oldest son, and then left it up to Worf to ask his young son Alexander Rozhenko to help. Worf was unable to ask Alexander to participate in the ritual, and later decided to attempt a risky surgery involving the genitronic replicator.[8]

Riker also liked to good-naturedly rib Worf, who was notorious for his lack of a sense of humor. This would be proven correct as Worf would only glare or growl in response to Riker's antics. During the Iyaaran visit in 2370, Riker jokingly chastised Worf for thinking the dress uniform was too feminine and weak-looking, later telling Worf he thought he looked good in a dress.[14]


Deanna TroiEdit

Deanna Troi and Will Riker began an intense and close relationship shortly following his posting to Betazed. They referred to each other as imzadi, a Betazoid word for "beloved". Troi apparently taught Riker how to communicate telepathically, but he seemed to lose the ability by 2364.[15] Will later remarked that he knew Deanna better than anyone.[16] One of their favorite and most special locations was Janaran Falls. After Will was transferred to the Potemkin, the two stayed in touch and planned to meet at Risa in 2361, but Will was promoted shortly after the Nervala IV mission and forced to cancel their date. He made his career a priority over their relationship, and gradually, they lost touch and did not see one another until they were both posted to the new USS Enterprise in 2364.[17] It was difficult to see each other again, and Troi tried to speak to Riker alone during their mission to Farpoint Station. He maintained a distance, and she did not make another attempt.[15] They eventually decided to keep a professional yet friendly relationship. They stayed close friends and confidantes, often approaching each other either to talk or for support in times of crisis.[18][17] As first officer and counselor, they were required to manage crew evaluations every three months.[16][19]

Will was dismayed to learn of Deanna's betrothal to Wyatt Miller in 2364. Deanna reassured him that he would always be a special part of her life and that she still cared for him greatly. Will was delighted when Deanna remained aboard the Enterprise after Wyatt left to help the Tarellians recover from a plague.[20]

During the negotiations for the Barzan wormhole in 2366, Riker was challenged by the Chrysalian representative, Devinoni Ral, in more ways than one. Ral and Deanna began a romantic relationship, and Ral used this to intimidate Riker. However, the Barzan wormhole was later determined to be worthless and Riker gleefully withdrew the Federation bid in front of Ral, who had just secured rights for the Chrysalians through underhanded means.[21]

Later that year, Troi backed off when Riker made his interest in Yuta known.[22] She stood by him after he was accused of Dr. Nel Apgar's murder, even when it seemed as if he was guilty. After he was exonerated, she squeezed his hand in affection.[23]

The Enterprise became trapped by two-dimensional lifeforms in early 2367. They also suppressed Deanna's telepathic abilities and she found it difficult to deal with her loss. Will tried to help her cope with the trauma, but she resisted. He then called her "aristocratic" and thought she was upset because her empathic powers helped her feel superior to her shipmates. When the Enterprise was freed, her abilities were restored. She apologized to Will, but also made it clear that he was not to call her aristocratic again.[24]

Ambassador Ves Alkar telepathically linked with Troi in 2369, using her as a receptacle for his "psychic waste". Deanna's behavior was drastically altered and she began to rapidly age due to the stress. She appeared for a crew evaluation meeting with Riker in a seductive outfit, then revealing that she had just slept with a male junior officer. Riker claimed that he felt her lovelife was none of his business, but Troi continued to press the issue, causing Riker to leave. Troi later tried to kiss Riker, then scratched him for no apparent reason. Riker reported this behavior to Dr. Crusher, who uncovered Alkar's plan and broke his link with Troi. Deanna thanked Will for his support, and he promised to love her even when she became old and gray.[16]

The discovery of Riker's double on Nervala IV complicated his relationship with Deanna. That Riker had spent eight years pining for Deanna, and was eager to resume their relationship. He tried to have her transferred to the Gandhi, but she refused, not wanting to give up the life she spent so long building on the Enterprise.[17]

Troi attempted the Bridge Officer's test in 2370. Riker supervised the tests, and did not show any favoritism towards Deanna. After she attempted the engineering qualification several times without much luck, he came to tell her the tests were canceled. However, by insisting her that, despite their relationship, his loyalty was to the Enterprise, he gave her a hint which told her what the test was really about—her ability to send a crewmember to their death. Knowing that she would never simply give up, he entered the holodeck just in time to congratualte her on passing the test.[25]

Will and Deanna stayed friends into their early years aboard the Enterprise-E. He helped her nurse the outcome of an alcohol binge instigated by Zefram Cochrane while they were trying to convince him to conduct his warp flight in 2063 (though he made no attempt to hide his enjoyment of witnessing her drunken behavior).[26] However, things changed when they encountered the radiation of Ba'ku in 2375. They began to playfully flirt with one another and ended up taking a bubble bath together. Their rekindled romance continued after the Enterprise left the Briar Patch.[27]

The two were to vacation at Pebble Beach on Earth in 2377. Deanna arrived first; Will was going to meet her a few days later. They later decided to go to Tiburon instead. They invited Reg Barclay to accompany them, wanting to introduce him to a mutual friend, Maril.[28]

Will and Deanna were finally married in 2380, shortly before their transfer to the USS Titan. Their wedding party in Alaska included Captain Picard as best man, Dr. Crusher as bridesmaid, and Data, La Forge, Worf, and Wesley Crusher as groomsmen. Guinan was also present. Another ceremony, a traditional Betazoid wedding was planned on Betazed shortly following. However, that ceremony was delayed when the Enterprise was diverted to Romulus.[2]

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Notes and references Edit

External links Edit

Navigation Edit

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