|Richard B. Riddick|
|The Chronicles of Riddick character|
Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick
|First appearance||Pitch Black|
|Last appearance||The Chronicles of Riddick|
Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick
Richard B. Riddick (played by Vin Diesel), more commonly known simply as Riddick, is the protagonist of three films in the Riddick series, namely Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, and the animated video The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. He is also the star of two video games based on the series; The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
"Richard B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer."
—Riddick introducing himself to Paris P. Ogilvie
Riddick was born on Furya. He was an Alpha Furyan, giving him an advantage in strength and endurance over normal Furyan infants. Before Riddick's birth, a Necromonger officer named Zhylaw consulted an Elemental seer (implied to be Aereon), who told him that a male Furyan (only a child at the time of prediction) would kill him in the future. In retaliation, Zhylaw attacked Furya in an attempt to massacre all male children, going so far as to personally strangle newborn infants with their umbilical cords. He strangled Riddick with his umbilical cord and believed him dead, but Riddick actually survived (probably due to his Alpha Furyan endurance), and would always remember the attack on his homeworld.
In later life, Riddick repressed his memories of the massacre on Furya and came to believe that when he was born, his mother attempted to kill him by strangling him with his umbilical cord and dumping him in a trash bin. Despite this, he periodically received visions and messages from a Furyan survivor named Shirah, which he believed to be signs of mental instability.
Little is known about Riddick's childhood, save that he had no education.
Once grown, Riddick became a Company ranger. He was assigned to Sigma 3, where he worked as a sweeper. Sweepers worked in the tunnels, where they drew out spitfires. It was incredibly dangerous, and the method of drawing them out required two sweepers to lay in wait while another acted as a distraction for nearby spitfires so the other two sweepers could kill them. Riddick was wounded multiple times doing this, and since the ranger team played dice to choose the decoy, Riddick learned to cheat at dice. During his tour on Sigma 3, he learned how corrupt the Company was.
He was promoted to the prestigious Strikeforce Academy on Sigma 3's moon. There, he became a much more efficient soldier. After graduating from the Academy, he was once again assigned to Sigma 3, this time to "enforce security". Riddick learned that life on Sigma 3 was nearly slavery, and enforcing security there meant murdering and torturing. Riddick spoke out against it, but the Company refused to change their inhumane system on Sigma 3. Instead, the Company disposed of the evidence Riddick gathered and sent him to a prison known only as Deep Storage.
Riddick spent less than three years in Ribald S. Before his third year was up, he overpowered a guard and took his uniform. Riddick shot two guards and a pilot before escaping on the prison planet's only space freighter.
The Company put a million-credit contract on Riddick and he became a wanted man pursued by every bounty hunter, bushwhacker and Merc in the space lanes. Every time he killed one of them, their deaths were added to his list of serial killings.
Over several years, Riddick evaded all who wanted to kill him, though several times he was caught. He spent time in the Hubble Bay Penal Facility, Ribald S Correctional Institute, Tangiers Penal Colony, among other places. He took a psychological evaluation at one of these prisons, which stated that he was a violent sociopath and a murderer. He escaped each prison, with relative ease.
During one escape, Riddick joined a mercenary outfit that augmented a company of E-TAC soldiers fighting in the Wailing Wars. Of the 500 men in that outfit, Riddick was supposedly the only man to leave the planet alive. Rumors suggested that Riddick killed most of his own platoon.
Once, Riddick was captured by a group of mercenaries and sent to Ursa Luna Maximum Security Prison - also known as Slam City. He was put into cryosleep during their journey to the prison. When the warden of the Slam City demanded that Riddick be unfrozen to prove that he was alive, Riddick escaped. He briefly held a mercenary hostage, and escaped into the bowels of the prison. There, he survived attempts on his life by the guards, shiners and automated security weapons.
He escaped the prison area of Slam City, and killed a medtech and stole his uniform. He then moved towards the hangar, but his cover was blown while doing so. He killed two guards, and escaped in a spaceship. Riddick only spent 11 hours and 22 minutes in Slam City.
Shortly after his escape, the head of Slam City put a bounty on Riddick. The relative ease of his escape from Slam City brought Riddick to the attention of William J. Johns, who accepted the bounty. The prison staff had developed such a fear of Riddick, though, that they did not want him brought back to Slam City, and requested that he be brought to Hubble Bay Penal Facility.
In Butcher Bay he got his special eye-shine from a mysterious furyan woman named Shirah, but for the next couple of years he thought it was Pope Joe, who just fixed his arm wounds. Shirah reminded him of this later on while he spent 5 years on UV 6. Later, Riddick had his Furyan Awakening through Shirah on Crematoria. He ended up killing the leader of the Necromongers and became the new Lord Marshal.
Riddick was wanted for the kidnapping and murders of Mercenary Guild members:
Philip P. Norwood Colin W. Grant Benton Ju
Powers and abilities
According to Riddick, while in Butcher Bay he received eye surgery, or a "surgical shine job", as he calls it, from a doctor that gave him superlative night vision in exchange for "20 menthol KOOLs". This surgery made his eyes more sensitive to light, requiring him to wear welding goggles to protect them from bright light. In The Chronicles of Riddick, it is implied that the story may have been made up as Kyra says, after recounting the many prisons she's been to, "...only there wasn't any doctor here who could shine my eyes, not even for twenty menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?".
In the flash movie on the Pitchblack.com website, Riddick gets the eyeshine to avoid disadvantage following an encounter with humanoids called "shiners" (who refer to Riddick as darkeye) who already have the same operation to see in the dark bowels of the Ursa Luna prison where the guards do not tend to go. The eyeshine surgical procedure is performed by a bovine veterinarian on board a prison facility at which Riddick arrived only a few hours before and which he is already in the process of escaping. Riddick elects to have no anesthetic despite the procedure involving cutting the cornea and drilling through the eye to inject a reflective substance behind the retina. The cost quoted to Riddick is 1000 creds. Having no cash, Riddick offers down payment of a pack of Kool cigarettes which he earlier took from a guard. He also takes welders goggles from the facility.
The video game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (which serves as a prequel to Pitch Black), clarifies that Riddick's eyeshine is more than just something he picked up in a prison. After helping a character called "Pope Joe" retrieve his "blessed voice box", a radio that picks up religious programming, Riddick goes into a den to get stitches for an injury. After he is finished receiving stitches, Joe tells him how to escape, and, perhaps coincidentally, warns Riddick not to "trust his eyes"; at that moment, a ghostly voice informs Riddick that he has "been blind for far too long..." and that he is to receive a gift. It is at this moment that Riddick receives his eyeshine.
The mysterious voice belongs to a character named "Shirah", who serves as a sort-of "spiritual" guide to Riddick, helping him awaken the Furyan abilities that lie dormant within him.
Wrath of the Furyans
Aside from helping Riddick unlock his eyeshine, the character Shirah also allows Riddick to unleash a sort of energy wave. It is shown in the director's cut of The Chronicles of Riddick after she lays her hand on Riddick's chest, leaving a glowing blue hand print, and says, "this mark carries the anger of an entire race... but it's going to hurt". After either receiving a shot from Vaako's energy handgun or a fraction of a second before the discharge of said weapon, [it]he immediately [reverberates]emits a large blast of blue energy from Riddick, leaving the group of surrounding Necromongers knocked down. This ability is also displayed off screen in Escape from Butcher Bay.
Aside from his more supernatural skills, Riddick is in excellent physical condition and is an exceptional fighter with or without the use of his eyes. Whether as a result of his Furyan heritage or simple training, Riddick is portrayed in both films as being stronger, faster, tougher, more resistant to damage and injury, possessing more acute senses, immense stamina, and recovering more quickly than most humans from injuries; he is shown on more than one occasion dislocating his limbs for brief moments with only slight signs of discomfort. In general, Riddick possesses an abnormally high pain threshold and psychologically channels what pain he does feel into anger.
Riddick's abilities at hand-to-hand combat are particularly formidable, confronting one of the night-creatures of Pitch Black with only his bare hands and a shiv he had made, breaking its neck, as well as defeating one of the Lord Marshall's best Necromonger warriors in a matter of seconds in Chronicles.
Despite his harsh upbringing and violent attitude, Riddick has been shown to have a certain knack for deduction, rapidly concluding what had happened to the original inhabitants of the mining base where he and the other crash survivors had been staying, as well as finding the creature's blind spot in Pitch Black and swiftly deducing what had caused the firefight between the wardens and Toombs' men in Chronicles. He has also been described as having "a knack for escape", surviving not only the Lord Marshall's purge of the Furyans when he was an infant but subsequently escaping from various prisons over the course of his life. He is also able to quickly judge the quality of, and find even seemingly minor flaws in most weaponry, down to very specific details. In one case, Riddick concluded that the prized dagger of a Necromonger was "half a gram too heavy on the back end" after an inspection lasting all of a couple seconds. His only weakness (other than light sensitivity, leaving him in pain when in daylight without his goggles), as stated in the Pitch Black DVD, is his soft spot for children and anyone who really grows on him (those people become his friends), which resulted in his capture by the bounty hunter Johns (Cole Hauser).
In addition to raw analytical power, Riddick is generally an astute judge of character, especially in the dark side of human nature. A killer himself and resident of almost one hundred maximum security facilities, he is often able to predict an individual's negative impulses before they act on them. He has been known to be surprised on occasion, such as when Carolyn Fry in Pitch Black altruistically gave up a fast escape to save Jack (Kyra) and Imam from the alien creatures. Riddick was also surprised when he underestimated Jack's (Kyra's) affection toward him between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, only learning of it after she had become a mercenary and resident of a maximum security slam in order to see him once again. Otherwise, he correctly predicted which of the group in Pitch Black would turn on each other (in particular that Johns would try to double-cross Fry), and that the mercs and guards on Crematoria would turn on each other prior to his escape attempt.
One major characteristic of Riddick is his indomitable will. Despite finding himself in situations where the odds of survival and/or escape would seem unsurmountable, Riddick always pushes forward and never gives up. Faced with several creatures far more powerful than himself, or any other human for that matter, he has shown himself to be capable of evading, killing, or even taming them. He has escaped out of prisons when most prisoners would resign themselves to captivity. When Riddick was mentally probed by the Quasi-Dead of the Necromongers, he not only resisted them, but also retaliated, the Quasi-Dead's containers actually exploding from the strain of trying to process Riddick. Given the Necromongers' apparent faith in and respect for the power of the Quasi-Dead, this is a very impressive feat. Perhaps even greater was his ability to resist the Lord Marshall's attempt to steal his soul.
Riddick is well trained with any kind of weapon that he can get his hands on, but his weapon of choice is undoubtedly a knife. Silent, quick, and deadly, in Riddick's hands the knife is a weapon that is a swift ender of lives. However, Riddick's most famous weapons are the Ulaks that he is seen using during his escape from Crematoria and the knives that the player receives in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
This is not to say that Riddick can't or won't use anything else. On the contrary he has been known to use anything from pistols, rifles, shotguns, to necromonger rifles, teacups and anything in between. But it should be noted that Riddick is an efficient killer even if he doesn't have a weapon. His hands can be just as deadly as a knife or gun.
Riddick's first appearance outside Pitch Black was a guest appearance and potential recruit in Fallout Tactics. He appears in the game during a random special encounter, aptly titled Pitch Black. Like his movie origin, Riddick is a stealth focused melee fighter with advanced hand-to-hand fighting skills and the ability to see in the dark.
Riddick has appeared as a playable character in the Xbox game Deathrow. He is one of the final players available on the Convicts team and has the highest amount of strength and aggression of all recruitable Convict players, although he has the equal-lowest teamplay rating in the game.
Behind the scenes Richard B. Riddick first appeared in Pitch Black: Slam City, a Shockwave prequel comic on the official Pitch Black website, one month before the release of the movie. In the film, and in all subsequent appearances the character has been portrayed by Vin Diesel.
In Jim and Ken Wheat's original script for Pitch Black the Riddick character was a woman named Taras Krieg.
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
- Pitch Black
- Pitch Black (novelization)
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
- Into Pitch Black
- The Chronicles of Riddick: The Hunt For Riddick
- The Chronicles of Riddick
- The Chronicles of Riddick (novelization)
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