Source: Star Wars: Ruby and Sapphire edition
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William Thomas Riker, played by Jonathan Frakes, is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe appearing primarily as a main character in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Throughout the series and the series of films, he is the Enterprise first officer, and briefly captain, until he accepts command of the USS Titan at the end of Star Trek Nemesis.
Frakes went to seven auditions over six weeks before being cast as Riker. Frakes stated: "I started with the cattle call, then the casting director, the producer, then other directors, to Gene Roddenberry, and then through the Paramount execs, including the vice-president himself and the heads of television."
For the first two seasons, Riker is portrayed as bold and confident, an ambitious young officer; however, over time Riker's character becomes more reserved, as experience teaches him the wisdom of a patient, careful approach. He becomes comfortable on the Enterprise, repeatedly turning down offers of his own command, and he learns to cherish the company of his fellow officers. Nonetheless, Riker retains a willingness to occasionally disregard the chain of command. Riker is usually referred to as "Will", although in early first-season episodes of TNG he is sometimes called "Bill" by Deanna Troi. He is also usually (and informally) called "Number One" by Captain Picard, because of his position as first officer on the Enterprise.
Riker's background is first explored in the second-season episode "The Icarus Factor". In the episode, Riker's estranged father, Kyle, visits the Enterprise to offer his son the command of the USS Aries, which Riker refuses.