Thomas Riker is still in prison and it’s time to let him loose on the Star Trek universe.
Star Trek has already done the evil-twin storyline but the series missed out on a huge opportunity to make Thomas Riker a huge villain in the franchise. A character created during Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’s identical to Will Riker in every way. Of course, he is, they’re the same person.
Before taking the assignment on the Enterprise, a young Will Riker was involved in a transporter accident that ended up creating a copy of him. This Riker was left behind and forced to fend for himself until the Enterprise one day crossed paths with the second Riker. This Riker, now going by Thomas, rejoined Starfleet and transferred away from his other self.
During the events of Deep Space Nine, Thomas arrived on the space station, masquerading as Will. During this time it was revealed that Thomas had fallen in with the Maquis. After stealing the U.S.S. Defiant for the Maquis, he’s arrested by the Cardassians and sentenced to life in a labor camp.
Thomas Riker was set up to be a major villain in Star Trek
The story of Riker going full villain is so easy to slide into. Left behind by the Federation, his resentment builds until he joins the Maquis, not just to help them wage war against the Cardassians but maybe to gain a measure of revenge against the Federation by destabilizing entire pockets of the Alpha Quadrant; throwing things into disarray.
Riker’s arrest could finally push him over the edge and make him a full-fledged villain, raising troops to take on the powers of the Alpha Quadrant.
While such an idea isn’t likely to be explored canonically on screen, given that Riker’s actor, Jonathan Frakes, is pushing 70 and working behind the scenes these days, it should at least be explored in some facet canonically.
With IDW putting out a string of great comics, it wouldn’t be too hard to do an official story event through the pages of a graphic novel. Heck, maybe even a regular novel. Market it as Riker’s revenge against the Federation that forgot about him and you can really drive home the betrayal angle.
It needs to be handled and addressed canonically, however it’s done. It was a major plot point in DS9 that was left abandoned and fans deserve to know how it ended.