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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 24 2013, 05:21 AM   #31
Bacl
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I always took it that pre-U.S.S Enterprise, Riker was a young hotshot who was rising through the ranks quickly towards Captaincy. He was the type of guy who prioritized his career (hence all the stuff with Troi, leaving her to take his promotion) and probably had a lot of mental games about how young he could be when he made Admiral, etc.

Then he met Jean-Luc Picard.

I always believed that what held Riker back was Picard, but it was Riker's choice. Picard so embodied the ideals and truths of the Federation, his diplomacy, morality, knowledge, everything, that Riker was absolutely floored. He wanted to study under Picard and be a better human, to promote himself from within rather than meaningless rank. That's what I always believed.
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Old September 24 2013, 05:34 AM   #32
C.E. Evans
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

Skywalker wrote: View Post
If he was waiting for Picard to give it up, he didn't know the man very well. This was the same guy who spent more than twenty years commanding the Stargazer, after all.
To be fair, Picard was a young man when he assumed command of the Stargazer, but not so much when he got the Enterprise. It really wasn't too unreasonable for people to think at the time that Picard's career as a starship captain was winding down (with the Enterprise capping it), and that he'd be moving onto the admiralty in a year or two.
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Old September 24 2013, 03:28 PM   #33
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I think it's more that he got comfortable in his position. How many times did we see him in Ten Forward fratenizing with the crew. He was happy where he was at.
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Old September 27 2013, 12:46 AM   #34
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

Bacl wrote: View Post
I always took it that pre-U.S.S Enterprise, Riker was a young hotshot who was rising through the ranks quickly towards Captaincy. He was the type of guy who prioritized his career (hence all the stuff with Troi, leaving her to take his promotion) and probably had a lot of mental games about how young he could be when he made Admiral, etc.

Then he met Jean-Luc Picard.

I always believed that what held Riker back was Picard, but it was Riker's choice. Picard so embodied the ideals and truths of the Federation, his diplomacy, morality, knowledge, everything, that Riker was absolutely floored. He wanted to study under Picard and be a better human, to promote himself from within rather than meaningless rank. That's what I always believed.
You know, I'll buy that. Plus the whole "happy" thing.
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Old September 27 2013, 05:44 AM   #35
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I always thought that there was a combination of The Enterprise being the flagship thus being assigned to the most desirable ship in the fleet and having the belief that he'd be first in line once Picard moved out of the captaincy. If he was XO of the Enterprise on the day Picard's promoted or resigned or whatever then he'd have a stronger chance of being promoted to cpatain and assigned The Enterprise than if he'd left the ship 5 years earlier and was captain of a random lower class star ship hoping to get transferred back.

I know they brought up his relunctance to take a command of his own some times and I thought that it hurt Riker's character to a point. He passed up the promotion so many times it seemed to me that they'd eventually just never consider him for a command.
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Old September 27 2013, 06:08 AM   #36
CommodoreDecker
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

@The end of Star Trek Generations, Riker made two statements to Picard..He said "Speak for yourself I intend to live forever" And "I always thought I would get a shot at this chair" (Pointing to the Captains chair) Picard responded "Perhaps you might, I doubt this will be the last starship with the name Enterprise" Early on, Riker was offered command on his own ship, but he told Tasha Yar he thought it would be more beneficial to serve on Enterprise. The command went to one of his classmates instead. I think for a time, Riker forgot his ambition and his drive and got comfortable as 1st officer.
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Old September 27 2013, 06:22 PM   #37
Timewalker
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I think Riker noticed how many Captains were dropping like flies at the time - either killed in action, or their entire ships destroyed - and decided it was just too dangerous to be a Captain!
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Old September 28 2013, 02:53 AM   #38
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I have to admit that his potential commands had horrible luck. The Melbourne was a complete wreck after the battle at Wolf 359. The Drake was destroyed while in orbit around Minos. Voyager ended up in the Delta quadrant. Only the Ares ("an insignificant ship") wasn't a complete disaster.
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Old September 28 2013, 03:08 AM   #39
R. Star
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I dunno, in Riker's place I'd be wondering... "could I have made a difference" in regards to those potential commands of his that were lost shortly after being offered to him. He figured out the Minosians and was the one who stopped the Borg after all.
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Old September 28 2013, 05:48 AM   #40
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I have to say that the importance of Riker moving on in his career makes me question the concept of working just to improve yourself. Along with Picard's distaste for ending up as a lowly crewman in Tapestry, it makes me wonder if the accumulation of money has been replaced with rank & status.

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Old September 28 2013, 01:39 PM   #41
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

Picard could have been an example to Riker in another way. I get the impression that at that point in his career, Picard could have advanced to the admiralty whenever he was willing to, but he kept commanding starships because that's what he really wanted to do.
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Old September 28 2013, 05:32 PM   #42
CrazyMatt
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

I always thought it was a mistake to write the character of Riker into the position of being offered captaincy as early as season two. Granted he was a fine officer of great potential, but if we accept the timeline put forth in "Pegasus," in the sixth production season Riker's commissioned career was only into it's twelfth year! That means when he was offered the Aries, he was only seven years a commissioned officer--not plausible when you consider it in that frame of reference.

It also put the writers into the conundrum of having to maintain that Riker still held the promise of being a great captain and yet have to "knock Riker down a peg" every so often to seemingly justify why Starfleet wouldn't force him to either take a captaincy--given he had turned that down at least three times--or involuntarily move him to some other assignment (perhaps on a Starbase) to open up the XO position for another promising officer who was nearly as ready--and more willing--to eventually become a captain (think Shelby).

Because the character was mishandled in the second season, it inhibited the character through the rest of the series and into the movies.

JT Perfecthair wrote: View Post
Watching Jellico and Riker go at it makes it clear that one is Captain of a Starship and one is not. There would be a lot of "Jellico's" at the higher levels of Starfleet with which Riker would have been equally as successful with.
A great example of the "knock Riker down a peg" syndrome.
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Old September 28 2013, 06:18 PM   #43
The Dead Mixer
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

^It's worse than that...they'd already established in Season 1 that he'd turned down a command to serve on the Enterprise. The Aries was the second offer. I agree, it was a mistake to turn this into a syndrome so soon. The Drake reference in Season 1 was unnecessary...the captain could have simply been and old friend of Riker's without that. And the Aries offer was featured in one of the crappiest episodes of TNG...we could have done without the whole thing. It would have worked if the Melbourne was the first offer and Riker was more genuinely torn...finally having the chance to realize his ambition, but liking his gig on the Enterprise too much to give it up too readily.
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Old September 28 2013, 09:41 PM   #44
MikeH92467
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

^^^^Definitely my thinking as well. It certianly was plausible to think that Riker would turn down a small command to be XO of the Federation flagship. However, that has the look of something that started as an afterthough, throwaway type line that morphed into something that came back to haunt the writing staff.
It is worth remembering that Patrick Stewart was a controversial choice as Captain and that there was no guarantee he would be back for season 4. It's almost like there was an assumption that Stewart wouldn't last and all of a sudden everyone was scrambling to catch up when it turned out otherwise.
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Old September 29 2013, 03:53 PM   #45
Praetor
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Re: Why no Captain Riker.

Agreed generally that the "Riker is so awesome he gets offered a command but then turns it down" reference in S1 was a bad idea.

I think "The Icarus Factor" really answers some of these questions. On the surface, it looks like Riker bucks promotion simply to piss off his Dad... but I think actually what happens there is Riker realizes he'd been to some extent living to spite his Dad while also living the life his Dad wanted him to live.

In other words, the choice Riker makes for staying on the Enterprise is his choice, whereas he may've accepted promotion and been the opportunistic Shelby-type prior to this because of his father's expectations. "Dammit, I am good enough, Dad, and I'm going to prove it." All that changed, IMO, in "Icarus."

Fitting Picard into that, as the The Old Mixer suggests, Riker may've found strength/inspiration from this from Picard as a surrogate father figure. Consider Picard's offer to become Starfleet Academy Commandant in "Coming of Age" which was apparently premature and due to Admiral Quinn's fear of invasion, but Picard still chose to turn down.

If one is cynical, one seems to get the impression that in the 24th century Starfleet is in the habit of assigning officers and then almost immediately afterward trying to transfer/promote them elsewhere!
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