Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Reveals What Happened To Riker & Troi After TNG

Star Trek: Picard has revealed what happened to fan favorites Commander William T. Riker and Commander Deanna Troi after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The pair were a defining part of TNG, with Will Riker serving as Jean-Luc Picard's trusted first officer, while Deanna Troi tended to the crew's mental health as counselor. They were in nearly every episode of the series, as well as the four movies featuring the TNG cast, which ended in 2002.

They sat on opposite sides of Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise, creating something of a symbolic triumvirate on the Federation's flagship. The final TNG film, Star Trek: Nemesis, ended with the newly married Riker and Troi departing for the USS Titan, the now Captain Riker's first command. Weirdly, Riker and Troi would show up again in the infamous series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, though that was a flashback to TNG's seventh season.

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Non-canonical tie-in novels chronicled the Rikers' time on the Titan, but now Star Trek: Picard has revealed what actually happened to them after nearly two decades. But before we explore who Riker and Troi have become, let's do a quick recap on who they were.

Riker And Troi Were Picard's Closest Allies

While Picard had personal connections to the entire Enterprise senior staff, Riker and Troi were his closest confidantes. Picard picked Riker as his first officer after reading about an incident where Riker refused to let his captain beam down into a dangerous situation, admiring his boldness and principled dedication to protocol. The two would go on to have an easy, brotherly rapport, a relationship built on trust and mutual respect that was rarely tested. No captain and first officer combination in Star Trek history has had as smooth of a relationship as Picard and Riker. Riker would even go so far as to risk the Enterprise and his own life to rescue Picard when he was captured and assimilated by the Borg. As Picard himself said, Will Riker was his trusted right arm for 15 years.

If Riker was Picard's right arm, Deanna Troi was something approaching his conscience. The half-human, half-Betazoid counselor had empathic abilities, meaning she could sense other people's emotions. Picard found her instincts vital enough that she sat next to him on the bridge and would often offer her insights into negotiations and hostile threats - though he always dreaded a visit from her mother. Initially a thinly written love interest character, Troi would evolve over the show's seven seasons into a fully formed, likable character in her own right (though with a stereotypical chocolate obsession), and eventually third in command of the Enterprise.

Riker and Troi were ex-lovers when Star Trek: The Next Generation began, and their relationship would settle into a warm, close friendship for the majority of the show's run. Their obvious romantic chemistry was reawakened in Star Trek: Insurrection by the rejuvenating powers of the Ba'ku home world. The romance endured this time, and the two married at the beginning of Star Trek: Nemesis, with the newly promoted Riker moving on to his own Federation ship, the USS Titan. As Picard and Riker shared one last moment together, audiences said goodbye to one of Star Trek's greatest duos - until now.

Picard Reveals The Rikers Live On Nepenthe

The Rikers would go on to have two children; a son named Thaddeus, and a daughter named Kestra. Notably, Kestra is named after Deanna Troi's deceased younger sister, whose existence and tragic death were concealed from her until the TNG episode "Dark Page." However, it would be the Rikers' son that suffered a premature demise. Thaddeus suffered from a rare neurological disease; the disease had a treatment, but it involved positronics, which were outlawed when synths were banned after the attack on Mars.

In a last ditch effort to save their son, the Rikers relocated to Nepenthe. The planet - named for the Greek word that roughly translates to "the dispelling of grief" - has regenerative properties, which they hoped would heal their son. Thaddeus loved the planet, overrun with wild bunnycorns and rich vegetation. Having been raised on starships his whole life, Thaddeus considered Nepenthe his home. It was not enough, however, and Thaddeus died with his family by his side. The Rikers decided to stay on Nepenthe, both to honor their son and give their daughter a fruitful, safe life.

It's not surprising that Picard picked the Rikers as his sanctuary. Not only are they his most trusted allies, but they're Starfleet veterans too. As soon as Picard arrives at the scenic Riker household and notifies them of the impending danger, Will Riker barks commands in his trademark shout, and the home arms itself against outside attacks from the Romulans and Xindi, suggesting the Rikers have had their share of confrontations on the miracle planet.

While Deanna and Kestra attempt to help Soji through the realization that she's an android, Picard and Riker try to figure out a new plan, just like they always did, though a bit boozier and funnier than in the old days. At Deanna's suggestion, Picard treats the Rikers' dinner table like the Enterprise's old ready room, where the five of them work out what's next for Picard and Soji over bunnycorn pizza. It's a sweet scene, and the one that seemingly convinces Soji she really can trust Picard. Picard and Soji depart when La Sirena reaches orbit, leaving the Rikers to their idyllic, but bittersweet, life.

Riker and Troi are the first of Picard's surviving Enterprise crew to appear in Star Trek: Picard, and it makes perfect sense that they're up first. Picard began this series in essentially a deep depression, and has had to endure darkness, doubt, and shame on his way to finding Soji. Indeed, he's likely to find it again on La Sirena, as Agnes Jurati has thrown herself into a coma after murdering Bruce Maddox, and the nefarious Romulan - and Rubik's cube enthusiast - Narek is still tracking the ship. But Picard needed a literal and spiritual respite, and for that he needed Will Riker and Deanna Troi.