LeVar Burton has shared that he returned to the role of Star Trek character Geordi La Forge on Star Trek Picard season 3 in order to rectify a “lazy” aspect of his time on TNG.
The latest season of the new Star Trek series has been filled with returning characters, including the likes of Doctor Crusher, Worf, Ro Laren, and Riker. The new episode, Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 6, added to the reunion with LeVar Burton returning as Geordi La Forge.
Over the course of the TNG TV series and TNG Star Trek movies, Burton starred as Geordi who became a fan favourite as the warm and enthusiastic chief engineer of the Enterprise-D. One of Geordi’s main plot threads was that he struggled with romantic relationships, and this was explored in many episodes, notably ‘Booby Trap’ and Galaxy’s Child’.
Now, Burton has spoken about this explaining why he believes it was “lazy.” Speaking with The View, Burton said “It never struck me as OK, in the scenario we found ourselves in, that not only was the engineer the ‘nerd’ uncomfortable with women, but if you count Worf as Klingon and not human, Geordi was the only Black man on the crew. And to have the Black man to have that personality twitch, flaw, it just didn’t sit well with me.
“I thought it was lazy and I felt that the white male writing staff has a little unconscious bias going on. And so when Terry Matalas, the showrunner of season 3 of Picard, he asked me, ‘Is there anything that you really want to see happen with the character?’ I said, ‘Terry, please can he have healthy relationships with women?’ He did me one better. Not only is he married, he has two incredible daughters.”
Burton’s comments echo his previous statements on the treatment of Geordie La Forge. Before his return in Picard season 3, he had called his character’s treatment “insulting”, again pointing to his inability to form romantic relationships and putting it down to unconscious racial bias from the writers.
Happily for Burton, La Forge, and fans, we can now see Geordi is in a better position with his two daughters, even if his relationship with Sidney La Forge is sometimes strained.
For more on Star Trek Picard season 3, check our guides to the Star Trek starships like Captain Shaw‘s USS Titan, Vadic‘s ship the Shrike, the USS Intrepid, and the USS Defiant.