Star Trek TNG Hometown Hero Statue In the Works

By TeeJay Small | Published

The last several years have seen several cities investing in commemorative works honoring on-screen characters who put their hometowns on the map, with the Breaking Bad statue of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in Albuquerque, New Mexico serving as a prime example. Now, Valdez, Alaska appears to be following suit, with plans to construct a Commander William Riker statue from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker is arguably the most famous fictional character to call Valdez his home, even if he isn’t on pace to be born for over 300 years.

Statue Of Riker Planned In Alaska

Before Commander Riker set out to explore the final frontier, he was born and raised in a small Alaskan town, causing many local fans to petition for a bronze statue commemorating the character. Gene Roddenberry chose Valdez as the site of Riker’s original upbringing after visiting the frontier state and falling in love with the snowy locale. Actor Jonathan Frakes, who portrays the bearded jazz aficionado was born in Pennsylvania, though his character was written to reference his home state of Alaska several times throughout The Next Generation, as well as in his appearance in Lower Decks.

Grassroots Effort

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The effort to construct the Riker statue is being led by a Valdez native named Cameron Harrison, who has partnered with many Star Trek: The Next Generation fans to inspire a whirlwind of interest in the concept. Harrison claims that Roddenberry’s decision to make Valdez the hometown of one of his greatest characters serves as a testament to the town’s beauty and awe, and may inspire visits from other Trekkies in coming years. Harrison has even become involved with founding a nonprofit venture called Riker Maneuver, named after the iconic way Riker lifted his leg.

A Statue Of The Riker Manuever

Harrison and company have argued that if a Riker statue is erected, it must depict the Jonathan Frakes-played character assuming the position, with his hand on his knee as he lifts his leg onto an object in front of him. Some organizers have even suggested the Riker statue be posed atop a functional bench that members of the community can sit on and use for a photo opportunity. A local artist named Patrick Garley has even agreed to construct the bronze statue, at an estimated cost of $125,000.

CBS Approves Of The Project

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If the Breaking Bad statue is any indication, the Riker statue will surely make money back and then some to the city from tourism alone, while inspiring a great deal of joy from Star Trek fans across the globe. Organizers from the project have stated that they have even gotten the thumbs up from CBS at this point, meaning the only thing preventing the statue from being erected is the Valdez Parks and Recreation department.

Jonathan Frakes Loves The Idea

The Valdez city council is currently looking into the approval process necessary for the Riker statue to be confirmed, with an answer expected to come fairly soon. Jonathan Frakes has not yet commented on the statue proposal publicly, though Cameron Harrison claims to have discussed it with the actor during a Comic-Con meet and greet, in which Frakes expressed support of the project.

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