I can't find anywhere that states how Riddick gets Eyeshine. It can't be a species trait of beings from Furia as the purifier in the necromongers does not have it.

How does Riddick get Eyeshine?

  • 29
    Basically you just gotta kill a few people. Then you gotta get sent to a slam where they say you'll never see daylight again. You dig up a doctor and you pay him menthol Kools to do a surgical shine job on your eyeballs.
    – TARS
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 10:58
  • 8
    ...In other words, I hope you know that this film is somewhat of a sequel to Pitch Black.
    – TARS
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 11:01
  • 1
    @TARS, I always thought that was Riddick being evasive and basically telling Jack that it was impossible to get them?
    – KyloRen
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    Then I'm afraid we won't know better either.
    – TARS
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 11:28

4 Answers 4


It seems that not all sources are consistent. In any event, Wikipedia answers this somewhat thoroughly, and you can be the judge of what media you want to accept as true canon:

According to Riddick, while in Butcher Bay he received eye surgery, or a "surgical shine job", as he calls it, from a doctor that gave him permanent night vision in exchange for "20 menthol KOOLs". This surgery made his eyes more sensitive to light, requiring him to wear welding goggles to protect them from bright light, particularly when out in the open, although he has been shown operating without the goggles when inside a regularly illuminated room.

In the flash movie on the Pitchblack.com website, Riddick gets the eyeshine to avoid disadvantage following an encounter with humanoids called "shiners" (who refer to Riddick as darkeye) who already have the same operation to see in the dark bowels of the Ursa Luna prison where the guards do not tend to go. The eyeshine surgical procedure seems to be performed by a bovine veterinarian on board a prison facility at which Riddick arrived only a few hours before and from which he is already in the process of escaping. Riddick elects to have no anesthetic despite the procedure involving cutting the cornea and drilling through the eye to inject a reflective substance behind the retina. The cost quoted to Riddick is 1000 creds. Having no cash, Riddick offers down payment of a pack of Kool cigarettes which he earlier took from a guard. He also takes welders goggles from the facility.

The video game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (which serves as a prequel to Pitch Black), clarifies that Riddick's eyeshine is more than just something he picked up in a prison. After helping a character called "Pope Joe" retrieve his "blessed voice box", a radio that picks up religious programming (including a Necromonger Talk Show), Riddick goes into a den to get stitches for an injury. After he is finished receiving stitches, Joe tells him how to escape, and, perhaps coincidentally, warns Riddick not to "trust [his] eyes"; at that moment, a ghostly voice informs Riddick that he has "been blind for far too long..." and that he is to receive a gift. It is at this moment that Riddick receives his eyeshine. The mysterious voice belongs to a character named "Shirah", who appears to serve as a sort of spiritual guide to Riddick, helping him awaken the Furyan abilities that lie dormant within him. In the Chronicles of Riddick film, Jack/Kyra angrily tells Riddick that when she was sent to prison, she found out that it is impossible to find anyone who can perform a "surgical shine job" at any price, and accuses him of lying about how he received his night vision.

Source: Section of Riddick's Wikipedia article specifically about his eyeshine.

  • 3
    I seem to recall that in the video game Riddick was confused by the situation and accused Pope Joe of tampering with his eyes; he may not have known the actual source of his eyeshine. Commented May 4, 2016 at 0:23
  • As memory serves, in the novelization of Pitch Black, he got it while working the mines on a planet in order to better survive in the mines, particularly from a nasty creature that lived there and would kill men unexpectedly.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 9:00

It’s definitively not surgery. That’s why it was mentioned in Riddick (2014) about a young child that took out necromongers with those “eyes” and also why the Escape from Butcher Bay game mentions it.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have quotes you can add to support this? Saying that something was mentioned is not nearly as helpful as showing it.
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 21:46

Riddick is an Alpha furyian and as such has inherited the primal traits of his ancestry. The eyes are a side effect of a laitent trait that did not awaken until his maturity reached a certain point. There is no doctor that can perform this surgery as even jack went looking and couldn't find anyone.

  • 3
    It would be best if you cited your sources.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 13:58
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    Especially since this answer contradicts some of the references. in the other answer. We'd need to know where this information comes from.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 17:16

Riddick is an Alpha Furyan. This eyeshine trait also exists in the scaled dogs at Crematoria. I believe these creatures are also indigenous to Furya. That is why Riddick could control them. Furyans are predator warriors. The eyeshine is only found in the alpha class of all Furyan predatory species.

  • 3
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. You really need to find references in reputable sources for this. Please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 12, 2019 at 4:45

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