Why didn't Riker accept his own command for so long?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by The Mule, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He's lost two ships under his command. He's lucky to have the job he's got much less a promotion.

    As for Mr. Riker, he's lucky I'm not running Starfleet. After nearly a decade of that big a lack of motivation and turning down at least three opportunities for advancement, I wouldn't offer his command of an in-system tug, if at all.
     
  2. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But at the beginning of the movie it's established that Riker had accepted promotion and his own command. Picard states so in his wedding toast that Riker and Troi were moving on. The whole Romulan-Remus affair happened after they were en route to Betazed. It was the events in NEM that prompted Starfleet to reassign Riker's ship to negotiate with the Romulans.
     
  3. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Then I'd say it's a good thing you're not running Starfleet! Or anything else, I hope! :lol:

    Let's not forget that Riker's fast thinking while in command of the Enterprise allowed him to neutralize the Borg threat, thereby saving the Federation and Starfleet from assimilation, something I'm sure didn't go unnoticed at Starfleet Command.

    I'm sure there were head-scratchers and people like Jellico who looked disapprovingly at Riker -- recall that in Chain of Command, Pt 1, Captain Jellico said he could "see why he's still only a first officer" -- but as Riker correctly pointed out at the end of Best of Both Worlds, Pt. 2, his career plans were no one else's business but his own.

    Also, I think Riker's position as first officer of the Starfleet flagship may carry a certain cachet in the ranks. And for all we know, a number of other Starfleet captains and admirals may have also moved up the chain of command as cautiously as Riker did. Not everyone has to be the youngest captain in Starfleet history, after all!

    And regarding your first point about Captain Picard, yes, he lost two ships under his command, but he ascended to command the Stargazer while quite young and it appears he blazed a first contact trail while in command, something the Federation probably looks favorably upon. And when he lost the Enterprise-D, he wasn't on the bridge. Yes, I know captains are responsible for what happens on their ships, but let's not forget the facts.

    Red Ranger
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  4. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, his career plans are not simply his own... the fleet brass has a say in it
     
  5. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Well, this is a fictional paramilitary organization, so your interpretation may or may not be correct. I think Starfleet officers are allowed certain latitude in their career decisions. Perhaps in time of war, the admiralty's decisions supersede an officer's personal preferences, but they weren't at war at the time, having just defeated the Borg. Riker received his field promotion during what Admiral Hansen described as a state of war, so Riker's personal preferences went out the window then. As soon as the crisis passed, his rights came back in force. Also, as I understand field promotions and field commissions, they are granted temporarily until made permanent. If Riker said, "No thanks, just keep me a commander for now," that would be it, I think. -- RR
     
  6. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Sold!

    You can send the dollar to:
    Vanyel
    123 Fake St.
    San Antonio, TX 71234-5678
    :lol:
     
  7. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Ha! All I can afford these days is a chocolate tinfoil-covered dollar! -- RR
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Starfleet has more often than not always shown itself to only be ceremoniously military. Mostly in just establishing a rank structure is the only "military" thing about it. Riker's career plans are, indeed, his own.

    Remember, this is a time where everyone is happy and works to fulfill themsleves and be happy doing what it is they want to do with their lives. If Riker's fullfillment comes from being second in command for a chunk of his career that's where he can be.
     
  9. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly. He turned down the Drake and the Ares in favour of the Enterprise, and after the Melbourne was destroyed at Wolf 359, I'd imagine he remained on the Enterprise because with so many ships lost in that battle there probably wasn't another command available for a while, not to mention that (as others have pointed out) Starfleet were likely very suspicious of Picard following his experience with the Borg, and so wanted Riker there to keep an eye on him. When the Enterprise-D was lost under Riker's command he was probably court martialed (standard procedure following the loss of a starship) and forced to remain a commander. It makes sense that he would request to be assigned to the Enterprise-E. The events of Insurrection may even have been a blemish on his record as well.
    It's therefore not until we get to Nemesis that he's reached a point in his career where he's able to move on and "work without a net" without any outside factors keeping him at a standstill.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd think the alternating heroics and blemishes in Riker's record would provide a set of broad brackets within which he could either advance or deliberately stall his own career. That is, the course of his promotions and transfers wouldn't be solely dictated by his record; "outside factors" would still regard him as promising material, with plenty of service years left to make use of his potential.

    That he was re-offered command twice during the TNG years tells us that Starfleet thought highly of him and respected his decisions. Most of the negative marks would come after this: the Pegasus exposure, the couple of times he lost the Enterprise in battle, and finally the open insurrection against Starfleet and UFP authority. They would be balanced by some of Riker's greatest heroics, however, and not necessarily endanger his career as such: forces supporting him could always quote the heroics, while forces opposing him could quote the foul-ups.

    I'd say Riker was master of his own career for the first half of TNG, became a controversial figure for the second half, and turned into a really hot potato when humiliating the entire Federation Council in ST:INS. At that point, but not before, Starfleet finally had to choose between making a hero or a zero out of him, and they chose hero; I doubt Riker could have survived turning down the Titan. He might even be rotting in a prison (or getting counseling or whatever) if he didn't cooperate...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Nerdius Maximus

    Nerdius Maximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I recently excavated a box of old Official Fan Club Magazines from 1990-1995 from my parents' attic. Jonathan Frakes was asked that very question. His answer: Bad writing.
     
  12. friedebarth

    friedebarth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It was definitely Troi. Definitely. That is actually shown in the series by several small hints. For example in The Naked Now there was a quite obvious one. And in the last episode of ENT where he exits the holodeck together with Troi. You can tell me anything but that they looked in love.
     
  13. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think they could ever put a true "hero" of the Federation like Riker in jail. I would assume more that he would just be made to resign
     
  14. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Another point to consider. Two out of the three commands offered to Riker ended up destroyed: the Drake in The Arsenal of Freedom, and the Melbourne in Best of Both Worlds, Pt. 2. If Riker had accepted commands one or three, he'd be as dead as Julius Ceasar. As far as we know, the Ares didn't meet a similar fate, unless it's mentioned as a casaulty in the Dominion War in some ep of DSN that I don't recall. -- RR
     
  15. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    We don't know what fate any of those ships would have had if Riker had been in command
     
  16. Nerdius Maximus

    Nerdius Maximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have no idea why I felt this way at the time, but when part one of the Best of Both Worlds originally aired, I was about 14 years old, and an idiot. I desperately hoped that Picard would die, and that Riker would take command of the Enterprise. Maybe it was because Riker was more "Kirk-like," I don't know. Later, as I matured and became less of a tard, Picard became my favorite TNG character.
     
  17. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

    From Memory Alpha:

    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/USS_Aries

    The Melbourne (both of them) was ordered to be part of Admiral J.P. Hansen's task force to stop the cube at Wolf 359. Since only one ship (reportedly the U.S.S Endeavour) managed to escape, it's safe to say that regardless of who the captains were, the starships were not going to survive.

    The Drake was ordered to go to Minos to see what happened to the Minosians. Considering how much damage the Enterprise, a sturdy Galaxy-class starship and flagship of Starfleet, took from the Echo Papa 607 weapons system, it's no surprise that the Drake, a Wambundu-class light cruiser, got its ass kicked and was destroyed.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    To nitpick, the ship was identified as the Aires, not the Aries. And while the onscreen registry of the Aires was the same as the purpoted registry of the Aries of "Icarus Factor" fame, the latter registry isn't exactly onscreen canon... :vulcan:

    Actually, that's by no means certain. Nobody ever states that only one ship would have escaped. Rather, it's stated that (about) 40 ships were summoned to the battle initially, and later it is said that 39 perished. But the final total of ships present might easily have been anything from 40 to a hundred, although with the odds towards the low end, say, 45.

    That is, the Melbourne could well have escaped along with a bunch of others, and the dramatic requirements of "The Drumhead" would still have been served. While the Melbourne had to die in "BoBWII" to make a dramatic point there (and "Emissary" actually shows the death), her fate might have been different with Riker in command. Although by in-universe rather than studio logic, Riker would probably have died anyway, perhaps attempting that warp-ramming maneuver he was on the brink of doing with the Enterprise.

    Little or no hope for the Drake, I guess. But Riker would probably have been among those beaming down to investigate the automated peddler, and might well have found a way to survive there until Picard's ship came to rescue him... Logically, the peddler should not have treater Riker as a practice target, but rather as a customer, if he beamed down directly to the transmission site like Picard attempted to do.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    :lol:

    My own take on this is simply that Riker looked around (metaphorically) at the recent fates of other Starfleet captains and realized that some pretty awful things seemed to be happening to them. He decided he would rather not tempt fate, thankyouverymuch. ;)

    Regarding "Best of Both Worlds": I think it would have been an interesting dynamic if Riker had become captain and Shelby had become his first officer. Think of the interesting storylines that could have sparked!

    But I'm just as happy that Picard came through his Borgification in mainly one piece. :)
     
  20. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    They said in the episode they theorized they would have the fleet back up within a year. As the hero of the Battle with the Borg he would have, as Shelby said, probably had his choice of any ship to command or position in the fleet.