Rick was born on 22 November 1990. His parents were "Pops" Hunter and a mother with an unknown name. "Pops" Hunter was a pilot, and served in the United States Navy during the Gulf War. During that time, his friend and co-pilot Dan Fokker was shot down by the enemy. "Pops" adopted his friend's son, Roy, and promised to take care of him at Dan's funeral. Roy in-turn promised Pop that he would treat the infant Rick like his brother and always protect him. (Robotech/Voltron 2)
Rick Hunter grew up as a member of the barnstorming airplane show run by his father, "Pop" Hunter. Rick was a natural pilot, advancing quickly under the tutelage of his father and his brother Roy.
In 1999, Rick was horrified to learn that his "big brother" Roy would be leaving home to go into the escalating Global War. Roy promised Rick that he would return home once the battle had ended. (From the Stars: Promises)
While still a child, he began to compete in Amateur Flying Competitions, earning titles for several years, running through his late teens. It was during this time that Rick became the world’s premiere amateur pilot, winning championships eight years in a row. Rick toured the world as main attraction in “Pop” Hunter’s Flying Circus.
First Robotech War
Rick arrived as a visitor to Macross Island in 2009 to watch the launching of the SDF-1. When landing on the Island, he interrupted an air show to display his talents and greet his big brother, Roy Fokker. Fokker was not amused by the antics of his young friend, but still made sure to spend the day with him, showing him around the base and even letting him sit in the front of a Veritech. It was at this point that the SDF-1's automatic defense mechanism went off, causing the ship to fire its main guns towards an approaching Zentraedi vessel. Roy left to briefly investigate what had caused the occurrence, leaving Rick in the Veritech, where he eventually dozed off while waiting for his friend to return.
When the Zentraedi forces began attacking the island, all Veritechs were called into battle. This included Roy Fokker in Skull-One and, in the heat of the moment, a very confused Rick, who was ordered off the display runway by Lisa Hayes. There Roy was able to help him stay in the air for some time, but he was eventually shot down by an enemy pod. Under quick orders from Hayes, he was able to switch configurations, turning his Veritech to Battloid mode, as he safely landed on the Island, destroying many building in the process. (Macross Saga: Boobytrap)
Rick was able to exit his mecha by rising his chair outside of the top, past the head. There he came in contact with Lynn Minmei and her cousin, Jason, who were watching from a near window. He attempted to move the Veritech simply by guessing, which caused him to crash into more of the buildings near where he landed, including Minmei's room.
He was eventually found by Roy, who helped repair his fighter and taught him how to control it. Afterwards, the pair left to fight off the Battlepods attacking the city. The duo eventually ran into Minmei again, who had left the shelter to retrieve a letter from her room. In the rush of the moment, Rick was forced to pick her up with his fighter and blast off, which because extremely dangerous when his arm was shot off, dropping Minmei straight down from high into the air.
Hunter was able to save her by pulling her into his cockpit as she fell, saving her at the last moment. As he landed, Rick was slightly distracted by her well-being, which caused him to crash into a nearby Tactical Battlepod. This caused Minmei to pass out, and in anger Rick released all of his ammo on the enemy mecha, destroying it. After a moment, however, Rick was horrified to see something step out of the Battlepod — a giant man, 50 foot tall, stepping towards him. Roy arrived and killed the Zentraedi just as it reached and grabbed his fighter, and explained that the giant was the enemy, and why the Veritech fighters had been constructed. Roy was ordered back to the SDF-1 as it took off, but Rick did not join him, still too far into shock to move. (Macross Saga: Countdown)
Rick Hunter was catapulted into space by accident after attempting to fly with Lynn Minmei from the SDF-1 back to the island during a fold operation. Rick's small ship was caught in space then soon trapped in the SDF-1 when the duo landed in a deserted section of the ship. Rick and Minmei were rescued when a building team above them (the other civilians had too been brought into space) accidentally crashed into their section of the ship.
Hunter was a citizen of Macross City for a time before deciding to join the Robotech Defense Force. Upon graduation from his training, he joined the famed Skull Squadron of Veritech pilots, led by his old friend, Roy Fokker. Rick began a career in the SDF as Fokker's subordinate, call sign Skull 23.
As Rick became more involved in the RDF and Minmei became an idol, the two soon grew apart.
Showing bravery and leadership in a number of instances, particularly the Battle of Mars, Hunter was promoted to lieutenant and place in command of the Vermillion Squadron, consisting of himself, Cpl. Maximillian Sterling and Cpl. Ben Dixon.
During a Recon Mission with Vermillion Squadron and Lisa Hayes. Rick Hunter, Ben Dixon and Lisa Hayes are captured and interrogated by the Zentraedi. They soon escape and regroup with Max Sterling. They then steal a Zentraedi battlepod and are rescued by the RDF.
Sometime after the SDF-1 finally makes it home to Earth, Rick is accidentally shot down and seriously wounded in action, he finds himself thrust into Roy Fokker's role in command of the Skull Squadron and with it Skull One. Reluctantly, he embraces the increased burdens of leadership and nonetheless emerges as a renowned and respected commander.
Afterward, Dolza decided Earth was too dangerous and initiated the Rain of Death. As the holocaust unfolded, he confessed his love to Minmei but was devoted to his duty. He led the RDF counterattack, and after his fighter was damaged, intercepted a transmission from Lisa Hayes at Antarctic Base. He rescued her as the SDF-1 landed at its final resting place following its destruction of the Zentraedi Armada. (Macross Saga: "Force of Arms")
At the time of the rescue, he accidentally ignored other survivors, earning the lifetime enmity of T.R. Edwards.
In 2013, Rick was en route to the Minmei Concert in Granite City when he was ambushed by a large force of Zentraedi answering to the warlord Zeraal, who was in the middle of a large campaign against humans in the wasteland. Backed by Battle Pods, Fighter Pods, MPA Commandos, and even a Cyclops, the Zentraedi attempted to overwhelm Rick. However the arrival of Wolf-10, Jack Archer, turned the tables on the Zentraedi. Archer accompanied Rick down to Granite City, where Zeraal was launching a massive invasion to kill both Lynn Minmei and Rick himself. The aim was to demoralize the RDF by killing it's top pilot, but the intervention of Archer and later Hiro Ishi stopped the plot. (Robotech: Battlecry)
In 2015 during a Malcontent attack, Rick arrived in the experimental VF-4 Lightning and helped take down the rogue Zentraedi. Upon landing back on Earth, he was lectured by Emil Lang for putting the prototype in danger. Rick then learned that Skull-One, the Veritech that had been piloted by Rick and his brother Roy Fokker, was set to be taken apart to study the effects of battle. Rick recalled how Roy had said that the Mecha would out live him, as it clearly had. (Robotech: From the Stars 0: Promises)
That night, Rick was late to a date that he had with the Admiral; his girlfriend Lisa Hayes. As she chastised him for being late again, he presented her a small gift-wrapped box. Although at first she was upset that he was trying to give her a gift to excuse himself, she opened it and soon realized what it was. Rick lowered himself to one knee and proposed to her.
The next day, Rick asked Lang if he could take Roy's Veritech for one more flight. Lang allowed it, understanding how much it meant to him. As Rick flies into the bright sky, he recalled his earliest memories of his lost brother. (Robotech: From the Stars 6: Commitment)
By two years later, Rick had advanced quickly in the ranks of the RDF. A Vice-Admiral, he joined his fiancé Lisa on Breetai's Flagship, where they destroyed Macross City in order to hide the remains of the SDF-1 from the Masters, if they were to come to Earth. (Mars Base One Part Five)
Rick was a participator during the Crystal War. During the year 2021, a group of previously unidentified Zentraedi began attacking the Earth. Rick was aboard the incomplete SDF-3 at the time of the first attack, along with multiple others. (Crystal Dreams 1: Crystal Dreams)
Rick Hunter was promoted to Vice Admiral rank and married Lisa Hayes. Directly afterwards, he would leave on the SDF-3 to search for the Robotech Masters' homeworld of Tirol. Unfortunately, upon arrival at Tirol, they found themselves facing not the Robotech Masters but the Invid who had occupied the surrounding star systems. At the same time, they met with the Sentinels, who revealed the Masters had already set off for Earth, much to Rick's dismay. (Robotech II: The Sentinels)
As the Pioneer Expedition was occupied in deep space at the time fighting the Invid, Rick Hunter was not a player in the Second Robotech War, however he and the REF were aware of the situation on Earth. They sent a single ship to investigate matters, but it was quickly destroyed. (The Masters: Outsiders)
Rick, alongside his wife, were an important part of the Sentinels' effort to liberate the Local Group of Fantoma from the Invid Regent. However, this left Earth wide open to the Invid Regess, who occupied the planet after the downfall of the Robotech Masters and the decimation of the Army of the Southern Cross.
REF Civil War
When suspicions began to rise around the actions of T.R Edwards, the REF called for his arrest on charges of high treason. Hunter and the crew of the SDF-3 arrived at Tirol to arrest him, only to find he has already escaped, killing Lynn Kyle and kidnapping Lynn Minmei in the process. Aboard his experimental battle cruiser, the Icarus, he prepared to leave the system. The SDF-3, at the command of Lisa, tried to stop him. However, the arrival of the Invid Regent's Supercarrier doomed that effort and put Lisa in the hospital, killing her unborn child in the process.
It took a year for the REF to rebuild after the disaster. They were unable to locate the Icarus for some time due to its use of technology. During this time, Hunter was approached and offered assistance from the Haydonites, a member of the Sentinels who claimed that they could reverse engineer the cloaking technology used by Edwards. Hunter accepted, and work on the ships began.
At the same time, Vince Grant and the crew of the Tokugawa pursued Edwards to Optera. Breetai and the Invid Regent were killed by Edwards and Vince's crew was captured. Before Edwards could harm the rest of the crew, the SDF-3 arrived refitted and rearmed by the Haydonites, which quickly disabled the Icarus as Rick lead a rescue mission for Vince and Minmei. Edwards plummeted into a Genesis Pit and emerged as a monstrous creature, but the SDF-3 used its Synchro Cannon to destroy him once and for all.
Afterwards, the Haydonites assisted with the construction of the Neutron-S Missiles, claiming they would be useful in the war to come. Rick had Max and Miriya Sterling rejoin him on the SDF-3, leaving their daughter Maia Sterling to take over as head of Skull Squadron. (Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles)
Third Robotech War
Following the end of the REF Civil War, Admiral Hunter regrouped the Robotech Expeditionary Forces and coordinated the campaign to retake the Earth. (Robotech: Love Live Alive!)
Before the offensive begins, Lisa Hayes decides to resign her commission, saying that "one Admiral Hunter is enough." Before they depart for Earth, they headed for the Omicron Sector, with the intent to test a theory that Emil Lang had. The Neutron-S Missiles configuration was not matching with Haydonite claims, so he wanted to test one of the missiles to see what it would do. Accompanied by the Deukalion, they carried out the test and were utterly horrified by the results. (Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles)
During the last battle against the Invid the SDF-3 did not arrive as planned and the SDF-4, under the command of Gunther Reinhardt, was forced to take up command of the assault to retake Earth. Unbeknownst to the Robotech Expeditionary Force at the time, the SDF-3 had been damaged while testing a Neutron-S Missile, and was promptly ambushed by a vessel belonging to the Haydonites, who intended to destroy the Protoculture Matrix aboard the SDF-3. The Icarus, under the command of Vince Grant, intervened. He was prepared to use the Space Fold engine to take both the SDF-3 and the Deukailon home with them, but in desperation a Haydonite ship rammed the SDF-3 and set it adrift along the event horizon of a black hole. That was the last anyone saw of the floating fortress. (Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles)
Fourth Robotech War
Ironically, despite the fact that the SDF-3 was believed lost by the Robotech Expeditionary Force, the Haydonites were confident it survived the attack and were both surprised and irritated to find it absent when they attacked Space Station Liberty. Hunter's status is unknown, but when treating her husband Jean Grant notes that Rick has a knack for cheating death, and confides in him that she's certain he's alive and well. (Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles)
Rick Hunter began as a naïve 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.
As a young man, Rick was good-natured, although he could be disrespectful at times. He held his big brother Roy in high esteem. Throughout the course of the First Robotech War he went from being a relative pacifist into a full-fledged soldier, becoming a deadly ace who even the Zentraedi feared. Khyron once stated openly that not even Miriya could match him. He was also an accepting and compassionate individual, sparing the Zentraedi deserters and becoming the deciding vote in whether or not to grant them asylum.
As a commander, he was much more disciplined, though he did bend the rules when necessary. He was very similar to Henry Gloval in his command style and would fiercely clash with T.R Edwards. However, he did not show the same judgment as his predecessor, and as a result he sometimes put his faith too heavily in the wrong people, most notably the Haydonites.
Behind the scenes
In the Space Fortress Macross produced before the series became Robotech, Rick's last name was Yamada.
Rick infamously was going to be one of the main characters in the cancelled TV series Robotech II: The Sentinels. The show would have seen him going across the Invid-occupied Local Group. After the series was cancelled, the story was continued by novels and comics, but the idea of the series has often been considered by fans to be an ideal point for new animation. Robotech: Academy, another planned series currently on hiatus, would have followed a new group of characters attempting to catch up with the characters of the original series after being stranded in deep-space. Rick Hunter was highly advertised as a character who would appear.
Rick, like many Macross characters, went through a variety of design changes from the production of the Sentinels TV series to the Shadow Chronicles, mainly because Harmony Gold could not use his design from Super Dimension Fortress Macross due to an agreement between Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko Productions and Big West.