Star Trek Canon Special Note
Not everything listed in the origin is Canon. That is because only television shows and movies are considered canon for Star Trek. This being a comic website there are many things here that are not canon. So unless it is contradicted in film it should be listed as part of the character biography.
William was born to Kyle and Betty Riker and although he grew up in Juno, Alaska on Planet Earth, William T. Riker was destined for greater things with Starfleet. His Mother died when he was only two years old, this left him in the responsibility of his father. One of Betty’s last wishes was that they stayed together in Alaska. The only thing that kept Kyle from giving up was William, but the death of Betty caused a distance between the two that would drag on for over thirty years.
In the year 2353 Will finally left home, and joined the Starfleet academy, a choice which would change his life drastically. One of his instructors was a Vulcan, who memorized each and every file of the cadets at the academy. This ironically led to He and William becoming close friends. At the academy William excelled at the training simulations, more so than almost any Cadet who had came before him. Once during a simulation against a brutal Tholian fleet, he was able to calculate that the fleet had a blind spot. He used this to get the upper hand and it was noted on his transcripts as tactical genius.
He was ranked number 8 in his graduation class, and much was expected of him. His goal was to become captain before age 35. Only a mere seven months after his graduation, as an ensign he was selected for the crew of the U.S.S. Pegasus, under command of Captain Pressman. His youthful appearance earned him the nick-name of "baby face".
William proved to an extremely loyal and dedicated Ensign. Even still green he was very serious about his work as Conn Officer for the Pegasus. He was well disciplined and obedient to Captain Pressman. This loyalty however came with it’s faults, when he followed his Captain's orders that deliberately disobeyed a Prime Directive from headquarters under an enemy attack.
Pressman was illegally testing and an illegally modified ICD (interphase cloaking device) on the Pegasus. It was extremely dangerous, and in violation of the Treaty of Algeron, this lead to a rift in the Pegasus’ crew which resulted in the mutiny against Captain Pressman. In defense to the Captain, Riker used a phaser, and engaged in a lethal fire-fight all the way through the Pegasus and to the escape pods. The Pegasus exploded killing the entire crew except for Riker and Pressman.
Even though Pressman did the his best to try and reassure and praise the actions of Riker, Riker was doubting that he had made the right decision, aboard the Pegasus. And despite the Fleet’s investigation of the incident aboard the ship, no information was ever leaked to them about the ICD. After the Pegasus incident William was assigned a new position on the planet known as Betazed. It is here that he first met Deeana Troi, and engaged in a lasting romantic relationship with her.
He eventually promoted in rank and joined the U.S.S. Potemkin, with the Star Fleet again. During his time spent on the Potemkin he invented a unique battle tactic using a planet’s magnetic poles, to shut down his ships systems and make his ship appear invisible to enemy sensors. A tactic which proved un-deniably useful for the Fleet. Riker also led a search and rescue squad on Nervala IV, to help save some researchers who were trapped at an outpost. After rescuing the team, Riker waited and was the last to beam aboard, due to uncontrollable circumstances, of the planet.
The Potemkin’s transport officer, thought they would need two beams to transfer Riker aboard. However this was not the case, and the second beam ended up creating a second Riker. Both of the Rikers laid claims that they were the real one, and both were right because they were genetically identical. After this Riker received yet another promotion, and was transferred to the U.S.S. Hood as first officer and the to the flagship of the Federation the U.S.S. Enterprise D.
The character of William Riker was created by Gene Roddenberry for the televiton show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Jonathan Frakes was chosen to play the role and he stayed with the cast for seven seasons and four films. The character concept was actually taken from Willard Dekker when a Star Trek Phase II television show was going to be made with the original cast with the notable exception of the Spock Character. Dekker was suppose to take the role of first officer and a character Xon (a full Vulcan would be added to the cast. Dekker was also going to have a romance with a woman from a previous assignment by the name of Ilia.
The series Star Trek Phase II was never made and the concept was turned into the first Star Trek film. Only in the film Dekker and Ilia didn't come back from the mission. When Next Generation was made the character of Dekker became Riker and the character of Ilia became Deanna. They were even given the same back stories and origins as the previous conceptions.
Riker became the Commander of the Enterprise under Captain Jean-Luc Picard. One of the first people he sees aboard ship is his past love Troi. They try not to let their feelings get in the way of their careers and most of the time they were successful. He also became fast friends with the crew and was well thought of by nearly everyone aboard.
The career was always the most important thing to Riker but something about his service on the Enterprise D made him stay even refusing multiple times to Captain other ships. This decision may have even saved his life as one of the ships was destroyed by the Borg when Picard was assimilated by the Borg and became Locutus.
When Picard was assimilated Riker became Captain of the Enterprise D. He did his best to battle Locutus but was barely able to hold his own. This was due to all of Picard's memory's of Riker and his knowing how Riker would command. Riker figured this out and used it to his advantage by implementing plans that where not in his personality to due. He even recued Picard from the borg and reverced the asiliation process as best as the could and letting Picard have a normal looking life at least on the outside.
The relationship with Deanna was always strong and somewhat awkward as they had feeling for each other but something was always in the way. Once during a crew memory loss Deanna found that Riker and her were lovers only to see Riker in a relation ship with Ensighn Ro Laren. Someone who he didn't like before the memory loss. Later, Deanna had a serious relationship with Worf a friend of Riker's and a crew member to both of them. The relationship with Deanna didn't last however and by the time Worf went to Deep Space Nine it was all over.
After seven years of service Riker was in command of the Enterprise when Picard was taken by a rouge group of Klingon's in a prisoner exchange. The Klingons had exchanged the Captain for another crew member Geordi Laforge who unknowingly had a visual device planted in his V.I.S.I.O.R. that allowed him to see. This allowed the Klingon's to find the Enterprises shield frequencies and allowed them to pierce their shields. This nearly crippled the Enterprise and cause a containment breach in Engineering. The ship was certain to explode so Riker ordered the ship to separate and saved nearly the entire crew although the force of the explosion made the ship crash land on the surface of the planet they were orbiting.
After the incident the crew was reassigned to a new ship the U.S.S. Enterprise E. Riker and crew went back in time following a Borg sphere and Riker was put in task of setting up the first warp flight in the Phoenix. He also built up his romance with Deanna and they ended up getting married and Riker became Captian of his own ship after about two decades with the two Enterprise crews. Deanna joined him on his new assignment.