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Richard B. Riddick, played by Vin Diesel, is the title character of The Chronicles of Riddick universe, containing two live-action movies, an animated film, a video game, and online information released to tie in with the release of the movies (mainly with the first movie). Riddick was for much of his life an anti-social murderer, being described in his prison psychological report as a violent sociopath with a primitive fight or flight response, though has become much more humane and caring (relatively) since the events of Pitch Black.
Much of Riddick's history is unknown. It is known that he was born on the planet Furya, and that, while still a newborn, his planet was attacked by the Necromongers, led by the future Lord Marshall, then merely a soldier, who personally strangled Riddick with his own umbilical cord (as was the fate of many young males on Furya), due to a prediction that a Furyan male would eventually be the downfall of the Lord Marshall, which Riddick eventually fufilled.
Riddick once stated that he had spent half of his life in prison. At the time, this would indicate that he has been in prison for a cumulitive 12 years. Riddick has been an inmate in the Hubble Bay Penal Facility, the Ribald S Correctional Institute, the Tanjiers Penal Colony, Ursa Luna aka "Slam City", and Butcher Bay. During an escape from one of the first three, Riddick signed with a merc outfit (something he would later criticize Kyra for doing) that later joined a company of E-TAC soldiers fighting in the Wailing Wars. It is during this time that it is believed the Riddick learned to pilot. Supposedly, Riddick was the only one of the 500-man company to survive, with some rumors even implying that he killed most of his own platoon.
His earliest documented exploit places him, already convicted of multiple murders, on the prison planet Ursa Luna, a maximum security prison also known as Slam City, where Riddick was an inmate for 11 hours and 22 minutes before escaping in a prison skiff. While in Ursa Luna, Riddick encountered a group of inmates known as Shiners, whose eyes had had reflective lenses placed at the back of the retinas in order to see in the prison's almost total darkness. Riddick underwent the surgery himself at the price of twenty Menthol Kools, which he had previously taken from a guard, citing them as his favorite brand of cigarettes (implying that Riddick smokes). Riddick then killed a medical bay officer, from whom he took his signature goggles, and slit the throat, from a distance, of a pilot before making his escape on the pilot's prison skiff.
In order to recapture Riddick, the Ursa Luna security staff hired merc William J. Johns, who had a track record of 17 for 17 captures, to track Riddick down, stating that none of them dared to go after him. The details of Riddick's following first encounter with Johns are unknown, but it is known that Riddick managed to stab Johns in the back, going for the "sweet spot" but missing. It is also believed that Riddick escaped during this initial encounter, as Johns was submitted for surgery to remove the shiv, and that some of it remained. Johns was forced to take morphine, to which he later became addicted, regularly to dull the constant pain. After this, Johns considered his hunting of Riddick to be personal, as opposed to motivated by money.
After repeated encouters with Riddick (who, at this point, was paper age: 25, thought his age after cryo-deduction was unkown), Johns eventually captured him and brought him to Butcher Bay, a triple-max security prison. During his time in Butcher Bay, Riddick was visited by Shira, a spectre of some sort from the dead planet of Furya, who revealed several of Riddick's latent abilities to him, including a natural ability similar to his previously-acquired eyshine that allowed him to see in low light in violet. Riddick was aided in his escape from Butcher Bay by Johns, who had had a disagreement with Hosite, the slam's manager, about the bounty to be paid for Riddick. Johns intended on bringing him to another slam. However, three days out, Riddick changed the dosage on Johns' morphine, over-dosing him and leaving him for dead before escaping. It took John's 53 days to recapture Riddick, catching him aiding some children in trouble (though no further details are given of this apparently out-of-character action).
Johns then cryogenically froze Riddick, and boarded the Hunter Gratzner civilian ship, intent on returning Riddick to Ursa Luna. However, the ship was hit by a meteor storm, causing the crisis program to crash land it on the planet M-344/G, due to the planet's atmosphere containing sufficient amounts of oxygen to support life. Riddick escaped during the crash, but was eventually recaptured. Riddick was granted free reign by Johns after the planet's hostile wildlife was discovered, with the promise that Johns would allow him to go free once they'd escaped. It was a promise Johns never intended to keep.
Riddick was instrumental in aiding the survivors during their escape from the planet. However, despite his efforts, only two others managed to escape with him: a muslim on hajj to New Mecca name Imam, and a 12-year old girl named Jack (paper age: 13, 12 after cryo-deduction), whom Riddick developed a father-daughter relationship with. During these events, Riddick managed to kill Johns in order to protect Jack, whom Johns planned to sacrifice. Riddick also left Imam, Jack, and the captain, Carolyn Fry, to die, only to be shocked when Fry caught up to him at the skiff and attempted to force Riddick to return for the other two. Riddick admitted that some part of him wished to rejoin the human race, but that he didn't know how, until Fry made him understand that she would willingly die for Jack and Imam, something that Riddick had previously failed to comprehend. Following this pivotal moment in his character development, Riddick would even go so far as to put himself in danger for Jack and Imam's sakes several times, and was deeply hurt by their deaths.
Riddick, Jack, and Imam escaped M-334/G on a modified skiff, and were eventually picked up by a merc ship. The ship was run by Antonia Chillingsworth, a wealthy art collector who paid the bounties on wanted criminals in order to cryogenically freeze the criminals in painful positions. She would have considered Riddick to be her most prized posession, but he managed to escape her ship. Chillingsworth herself was killed by Jack while holding Riddick at knife-point. One of the mercs kept "on retainer" for Chillingsworth (ie, frozen), who escaped her ship following her death, would later go on to become a constant thorn in Riddick's side due to the hefty bounty on his head: Toombs.
Riddick took Imam and Jack to New Mecca, on the planet Helion Prime, and left, to keep the mercs that would surely follow away from Jack. He told Imam to care for Jack, and told him that he, Riddick, would go to the planet Frigoria. Riddick stayed on Frigoria in peace for five years.
But Riddick's exile was not to last. When the Necromongers threatened Helion Prime, Aereon and Imam agreed that Riddick, as the last known Furyan (though Aereon believed there to be more in hiding), would be the planet's best hope against them. To this end, Imam sent out a $1.5 million bounty on Riddick's head, to be paid only if Riddick was brought to him alive. The bounty was accepted by Toombs, who jumped at the chance to capture Riddick, and Imam anonymously revealed Riddick's hiding place to the merc.
Toting a four-man crew, Toombs cornered Riddick on Frigoria, only to be left defenseless and chilled when Riddick ghosted his entire crew and emptied his gun rack before Toombs could locate him. Riddick held Toombs at knife-point for information, including the amount of his bounty, intent on using the information to discern which slam had sent the merc. When he learned that the bounty was from an anonymous private benefactor, he decided ...