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Old May 19 2013, 04:16 PM   #43
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Re: Pedantic Star Trek discussion #134: Riker's Field Commission

Yeah, it seems clear to me that, at least by TBOBW, Riker's priorities in life had changed. The upwardly mobile career man from season one who had left Deanna behind because he saw the opportunities of advancement had given way to somebody who was more comfortable in his own boots. Multiple times over the TNG run we get the situation of Riker being in effective command of the Enterprise, and he never seems completely happy about it. Putting aside the actual circumstances of his 'promotion' in BOBW, I'm not convinced Riker really had a thirst for Captaincy by that stage.

It wasn't so much the idea of being first officer on the Enterprise being better than captain of any other ship. IMO it was more that he'd settled into a groove where he was happy, and he changed his priorities accordingly. As long as Picard still wanted him there he was happy to remain Jean-Luc's XO. Occasional moments (Shelby, Admiral Pressman, Thomas Riker) saw him get a bit introspective about exactly why he changed his priorities, but it seems obvious to me that the guy we met in season one who had a fire in his belly for command was not the same man we saw through most of the series' run.
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