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Paul Rice

Captain Paul Rice

Paul Rice was a member of Starfleet, with his final rank being the captain of the USS Drake when he was killed in 2364.

Paul Rice had attended Starfleet Academy with Will Riker. Riker remembered him as a confident man, almost to the point of arrogance; he managed to get away with this trait because he had a tendency to be right. When he took his final test in one of his courses at the Academy, there were three options available; Rice ignored them, and came up with his own solution. As a result, he was awarded the highest score for the test, which was still in use at the Academy, albeit with four available solutions. Based on this profile, Counselor Deanna Troi reasoned that such a man would have a tendency to fight a battle, as opposed to retreat from one.

In 2364, the Drake was assigned to Minos to discover why the planet had suddenly become unpopulated. The Drake was apparently destroyed by one of the weapons constructed by the people of that planet, a weapon which almost destroyed the USS Enterprise-D a short time later.

When Riker, as the executive officer of the Enterprise-D, beamed down to Minos, he encountered Paul Rice. However, Riker soon determined this was a holographic version being created with the purpose of extracting information from him. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom")

Paul Rice was played by Marco Rodriguez. According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 409), Rice was named after the titular character in Gene Roddenberry's series, The Lieutenant.
Footage from The Arsenal of Freedom was reused for "All Good Things...", and Rice can be briefly seen standing in the background, apparently on Deneb IV with Riker.
The Rice card included in the Alternate Universe series of the Star Trek Customizable Card Game contains an "easter egg", showing the words "daed si luap" ("Paul is dead" backwards) - a reference to the urban legend that Paul McCartney died in a car accident in 1966, and while The Beatles covered up his death and found a lookalike-soundalike replacement, numerous songs played backwards (as well as regular lyrics and images of the group) contained various clues revealing the truth.

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