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Rick
Rick Hunter
Biographical information
Birthplace

Earth

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Male

Hair color

Brown

Eye color

Blue

Chronological and political information
Affiliation
Masters

Lisa Hayes

Uh...Nobody's perfect, Commander.

—Rick Hunter

Rick Hunter, voiced by Tony Oliver, was the main protagonist of the Robotech: The Macross Saga. A headstrong young pilot of Skull Squadron, he would be known throughout the United Earth Forces as the legendary Admiral Rick Hunter during the Third Robotech War. He was involved in a complicated love triangle Lynn Minmei and Lisa Hayes. He eventually chose, and married Lisa Hayes. The two had a son, Roy Hunter. He was known as Hikaru Ichijō in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the series which was adapted into the first "saga" of Robotech.

Character

Rick Hunter began as a naive and headstrong nineteen-year-old civilian pilot, having flown for his father "Pops" Hunter's world-class flying circus. Yet by the end of the series, he matured into a well-respected, experienced, and visionary military commander. Rick originally shared his father's pacifist view of war, until the alien race known as the Zentraedi attack the Earth. Rick then spent the series struggling to reconcile his personal feelings with the realities of war, and the need to confront the incredible alien threat.

History

Macross Incident

Roy. It's good to hear your voice, old buddy. I understand you're lieutenant commander now.

—Rick Hunter

RickyOh

Rick Hunter showing off his skills to his "Big Brother".

The story began with Rick Hunter arrived on his Fan Jet as a visitor to Macross Island in 2009 to watch the launching of the Super Dimensional Fortress-1 Macross (SDF-1) battlefortress and to visit his "big brother", Roy Fokker. Although happy to see his old friend again, Rick was still resentful that Roy chose to stay in the military instead of coming back to the circus where they performed aerial stunts together. Rick was in the cockpit of one of the transformable Veritech fighters when the Zentraedi forces attacked, and received a crash course in piloting the strange craft from Roy in the midst of the all-out alien invasion. He was present when the SDF-1's accidental hyperspace-fold in the atmosphere takes the island and its inhabitants of Macross City all the way to Pluto, on the edge of the solar system.

During this encounter, Rick rescued and falls for a young girl, Lynn Minmei. The two found themselves trapped in a remote section of the giant ship and became very close during their time together. However, just as they are about to kiss for the first time (in a pretend wedding), the two were finally rescued. Although he was not initially open to the idea, the constant danger to the ship and the city it carried compelled Rick to sign up with the Robotech Defense Force, and soon becomes a capable veritech fighter pilot, despite the fact that he was only 19 years old. During his time on the SDF-1, Rick had many dealings with Lisa Hayes, the disciplined and reserved second-in-command of the great ship. During the initial battle on Earth, Rick insulted Lisa...thus, when he enlisted into the military, she took it upon herself to ride him a little harder than most new recruits. Due to the constant attacks by the Zentraedi, many veritech pilots were killed or injured and Rick increasingly looked toward Minmei, who has now become a popular singer and new Miss Macross Beauty Pageant winner, as a source of inspiration and happiness. However, despite their initial closeness, the two gradually grew apart as Rick focuses on his military career while Minmei was constantly mobbed by fans who loved her music.

Bye Bye Mars

I have no idea what's happening here but my life is at stake now, too. So come on!

—Rick Hunter

After a mission to rescue Lisa from the soon-to-be-destroyed Mars Base Sara, Rick was awarded a medal, promoted to Lieutenant, and was given his own command (Vermillion Squadron) and two subordinates, Max Sterling and Ben Dixon. Throughout the course of the series, Rick matured and gained experience as the SDF-1 slowly traveled back towards Earth while under constant attack from Zentraedi forces, such as learning to eagerly concede that Sterling was far and away the superior pilot compared to himself.

Captured

Just a minute. You think you're so attractive I scheming up a way to kiss. I wouldn't think of kissing you unless they it were life or death!

—Rick Hunter

Ricky

Rick Hunter undergoing training in the Academy.

During a reconnaissance mission, Rick, Lisa, and Ben were captured by the enemy Zentraedi and interrogated by Supreme Commander Dolza, Breetai, and Exedore. Lisa, suspicious as to why Dolza doesn't just order his massive fleet to attack the SDF-1, yells that Dolza doesn't have the power to attack and that the SDF-1 was far superior to his "bucket of bolts". Infuriated, Dolza slams his hand on the table with enough force to cause the captives to lose their balance. Dolza then extended his hand and grabbed Lisa, lifting her up in front of his face. He ordered her to tell him by what process humans became human-size. Defiant, Lisa refused to respond, and Dolza tightened his grip around her until she screamed in pain. Fearing that Dolza would kill Lisa, Rick yelled at him to stop squeezing her and explained that humans were born, at their current size, when a man and woman loved each other. When Breetai asked how "this love" was often expressed, Rick responded that it was often done by kissing one another. Demanding a demonstration, Dolza suggested that Rick and Ben kiss one another, but Rick refused. As Dolza threatened to crush all of them if he doesn't see a demonstration, Lisa said she would demonstrate. After Dolza returned her to the table, Lisa ordered Rick to kiss her, an action that shocked Dolza and the other Zentraedi present. This kiss, ironically, was the start of Rick and Lisa's difficult romance and the beginning of the love triangle between Rick, Lisa, and Lynn Minmei.

After being rescued, Lisa shook off the event and immediately returned to duty, but she couldn't help the feelings she was now developing for Rick, and soon became jealous of his obsession with Minmei. Although neither realized it at the time, this kiss marked the start of Rick and Lisa's difficult romance that would take years to ultimately come to fruition, and only after many challenges and heartbreaks. Lisa and Rick's personal relationship would continue to mature, and would eventually progress into an uneasy friendship. Despite the bond that grew between them, Rick remained fixated on Minmei, hanging her posters in his home, much to the dislike of Lisa, who was too shy to tell Rick how she feels. Yet despite Rick's feelings, Minmei's music career and her cousin Lynn Kyle, made their romance more and more difficult.

Back to Earth

You!? You came out here to apologize? To apologize for what for Pete's sake.

—Rick Hunter

LisaFlirt

Lisa acting like a flirt.

Even after reaching Earth, the crew of the vast ship was not safe. During a battle led by Miriya Parina to hunt down and destroy Max Sterling, Roy Fokker was killed. A heartbroken Rick was given command of the Skull Squadron and was issued Roy's VF-1S Valkyrie. Shortly thereafter, Rick was faced with another tragedy when his second wingman, Ben Dixon, was killed in the line of duty. The loss of two of his closest friends devastated Rick emotionally, but he found the strength to carry on.

Rick faced a challenge of a different sort when his wingmate and best friend Max falls in love with Miriya after she was micronized and infiltrated the SDF-1. Despite Miriya's initial intention to kill Max, she eventually realized that the feelings Max had awakened in her were not of hate but of love, and the two decided to get married. Max soon met with Rick to explain his plans to marry Miriya. Rick, after spitting out his coffee in surprise, initially objected to Max's plans and ridicules them as "silly idealism". Rick asked, aside from the fact that he and Miriya have only been on one date, what a human and a Zentraedi could possibly have in common. Max vigorously defended his plan to marry Miriya and introduced her to Rick. Rick, after seeing Miriya in a pink dress, was amazed at how beautiful she was and he suddenly changed his mind. Rick even agreed to help them with their wedding plans. That night, as he lay in bed, he thought to himself how happy Max was to be married, despite that fact that Miriya was an alien of a hostile race. His thoughts soon drifted to Lisa as he tried to sort out the love triangle between Lisa, Minmei, and himself.

The Rain of Death

Then the SDF-1 survived. What a sight for sore eyes.

—Rick Hunter

MisaHikaru

Lisa and Rick Hunter formed a bond while in captivity

In the battle against the Zentraedi Grand Fleet, Rick, like the rest of the SDF-1 crew, was devastated as he watched the fleet fire on Earth and destroy almost all life on the planet (an event later referred to as the Zentraedi Holocaust. Rick feared for Lisa, who had been assigned to Alaska Base after returning to Earth and being unable to leave. In the subsequent battle, Rick's fighter took damage, and he was temporarily knocked out. When he comes to, he picked up a distress signal from Alaska Base from Lisa Hayes. Despite the risk, Rick flew into the heavily damaged base and descended several miles until he reached Lisa. The two run into each other's arms before racing back to the fighter. As the base started collapsing, Rick managed to fly his fighter out of the base and landed it on the planet's devastated surface. As Rick and Lisa stood together, wondering if anyone else survived, they looked up and watch the SDF-1, although severely damaged from battle, landed safely nearby, marking the end of the First Robotech War.

Reconstruction Blues

As the survivors rebuild Earth during the Reconstruction Era, Rick once again became obsessed with Minmei, much to the dismay of Lisa, who wished that Rick could understand that she loved him, but he remained uncomfortable around her due to the age difference and the fact that she was a superior officer. When Lisa gave Rick photos of her for his photo album in an attempt to compete with Minmei, he was not sure how to react. After Minmei and her cousin Kyle are kidnapped by Khyron, Rick lead a rescue operation to save her, further straining his relationship with Lisa, leading to a confrontation. The next day an agitated Rick cruelly lashes out at Lisa to stay out of his personal life and then tried to hurt her by flirting with Vanessa Leeds, causing Lisa to leave. Vanessa and her fellow operators become disgusted with Rick and tried to make him understand that Lisa loved him. On his way home that night Rick realized he was being very childish, after thinking about Vanessa's words and the photos Lisa gave him, he started to realize Lisa's feelings were true and tried to talk to her after finding her at Claudia Grant's home.

Shortly after that, Rick decided to ask Lisa out for a picnic, which she accepted, but Minmei called him to have lunch with her, which he reluctantly agreed to hoping he can finish early enough to still meet Lisa, but the day is dashed by the interference of Lynn Kyle and a Zentraedi attack. When Rick finally does get to Lisa, who spent all day waiting for him at an outdoor cafe, he tried to salvage the day but Lisa learned he has been with Minmei and storms away from him in anger. Afterward, Minmei had a falling out with Kyle and goes out in search of Rick, rekindling their love during the holidays and sharing a kiss on Christmas Eve. Lisa was devastated and consulted Admiral Henry Gloval to resign her military commission as she felt she could not serve beside Rick due to her feelings for him. Gloval laughed, and said that he needed her now more than ever as she was chosen to command the Super Dimension Fortress-2 Megalord (SDF-2). Lisa accepts her new commission. Meanwhile, after spending more time with her during the holidays, Rick began to realize that he could not relate to Minmei anymore, as his experiences in combat have changed him from the person he was when they met, and that Lisa understands him better than Minmei does.

Khyron's Revenge

We'll build the SDF-3 Lisa, and together we'll get there. Yeah. We're going to the stars and beyond. I promise you that, Lisa.

—Rick Hunter

Triangle

Rick ended up with the more mature Lisa Hayes. Minmei ran away shortly in defeat.

When Khyron attacked New Macross City and the SDF-1 in January 2014, Rick must tear himself away from Minmei's arms to attend to his duty. Minmei could not accept that Rick must constantly risk his life in battle and begged him to leave the military, something that Rick could never do. Khyron eventually launched a suicide run at the SDF-1, killing himself and nearly everyone aboard except for Lisa, who was pushed into an ejection pod at the last moment by Gloval. In addition to Admiral Gloval, Lisa's close friends Claudia Grant, Sammie Porter, and Kim Young were killed. As Rick realized that Lisa was alive, the two run into each other's arms as Minmei watched nearby. Rick and Minmei have already realized that they could never be together as he was dedicated to the military and she was dedicated to her music. Rick also realized that his love for Minmei was as a friend, while his love for Lisa was stronger and deeper than he had ever realized until now.

Marriage

By late 2014, Rick, fearing he may lose his chance, proposed to Lisa, who gladly accepted. The two decided to forego a grand wedding, and instead chose a smaller, understated event attened by close friends. The couple reaffirmed their vows, stating they would travel the stars together. Much to the shock of some in the audience, Minmei was in attendance, and even agreed to perform during the reception.

Aftermath

During the war and its aftermath, Rick rose to become one of Earth's most recognizable heroes, commanding the SDF-1's fighter squadrons during the desperate battles of the First Robotech War. At the same time, he matured greatly as a person, growing from a brash teenager to a responsible and dedicated soldier. Rick and Lisa were the two of the most influential surviving military figures of the human race, and together with the Zentraedi Commander Breetai and the Robotech Research Group, they constructed the Super Dimension Fortress-3 Pioneer (SDF-3), with which they intended to take humanity to its destiny in the stars.

Third Robotech War

Some thirty years after the first encounter with the Zentraedi, Admiral Rick Hunter was now in command of Mars Base, the primary military force of the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF). He became obsessed with wanting to liberate Earth from the Invid. However, the SDF-3, with Rick Hunter aboard, failed to arrive at Earth with the main fleet during the Battle of Reflex Point.

Use of the Neutron-S Missiles

At the end of the war with the Invid, it was decided that if the Invid could not be dislodged, then the REF was authorized to use the Neutron-S Missiles to wipe out not only the Invid, but most of Earth as well.

Notes

  • Original design was by iconic character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto.
  • One of the most hyped aspects of the Robotech was the disappearance of Rick Hunter. Attempts have been made to explain his disappearance in various works, but were ultimately never resolved.
  • Rick Hunter was the most widely expanded upon character in the series' history, as seen from many Classic Robotech works. He was the protagonist in failed film, Robotech II: The Sentinels, and its comic adaptation of the same name, which attempted to fill in what happened to Rick while he was out searching for the homeworld of the Robotech Masters.

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