Star Trek Fans Unite: Valdez Embarks on Journey to Honor Future Hero with Riker Statue

Riker Maneuver

In the picturesque town of Valdez, Alaska, a unique tribute is being planned that boldly goes where no statue has gone before. The town, which may not be widely recognized for its celebrity births today, is slated to be the birthplace of a very famous individual in the 24th century: Commander William T. Riker of the USS Enterprise, who will be born there in the year 2335.

A group of Star Trek enthusiasts, led by local Cameron Harrison, has embarked on a mission to celebrate this future event in a big way. They’ve formed a nonprofit aptly named Riker Maneuver, with the goal of erecting a bronze statue of Commander Riker, complete with a commemorative plaque to honor his Valdez roots. The initiative has even garnered the support of Paramount, the owner of the Star Trek franchise.

What sets this statue apart is its design. Envisioned to feature Riker in the midst of performing his iconic sitting technique—affectionately known as the Riker Maneuver—the statue will also include a bench. This addition is not just for aesthetics; it invites fans to sit and replicate the maneuver alongside the Commander himself, providing a perfect photo op for Trekkies visiting Valdez.

Riker Statue

The enthusiasm behind this project isn’t just local. Harrison shared an encounter with Jonathan Frakes, the actor who brought Riker to life, at Comic-Con, where the man expressed his full support for the memorial.

Riker Maneuver has officially submitted plans to the Valdez Parks and Recreation Department and is eagerly awaiting approval to move forward with fundraising efforts. They aim to raise $125,000 to bring the memorial to life, a goal they’re optimistic about reaching with the support of both the local community and the wider Star Trek fanbase.

Ken Wilson, the Parks director, while admittedly more of a Star Wars fan, has shown openness to the proposal, highlighting the universal appeal of such a unique tribute.

Should this project be fully funded, Valdez will join a prestigious list of birthplaces like Riverside, Iowa (Captain James T. Kirk), Bloomington, Indiana (Captain Kathryn Janeway), and even Vulcan, Alberta (Mr. Spock), in celebrating the imagined future heroes of the Star Trek universe.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer US cities can now claim leading characters. Mojave awaits Captain Christopher Pike, San Francisco prepares for Helmsman Hikaru Sulu, and Panama City anticipates Chief Engineer Charles “Trip” Tucker. With each tribute, the universe expands, inspiring fans to boldly go where none have gone before.

[Via Neatorama]

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