Geordi La Forge
Template:ST Character Geordi La Forge, a character in the Star Trek fictional universe, holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and is the Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise-D and later the USS Enterprise-E, both under Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He is played by LeVar Burton, and was named after George La Forge, a Star Trek fan who died from muscular dystrophy.
He wears a VISOR, a half-moon-shaped device attached at the temples, allowing La Forge, who was born blind, to see. They enable him to "see" throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, from heat and infrared through light and radio waves. With the cybernetic technology connected directly to his brain, it requires such a complex and broad-based input that the user has to concentrate to focus on one area. Eventually, he receives ocular impants with electric blue irises and the same abilities.
Geordi was born February 16 2335, in the African Confederation on Earth to parents Captain Silva La Forge, of the Hera and Commander Edward M. La Forge, a noted exozoologist. He attended Zefram Cochrane High School and then Starfleet Academy from 2353 to 2357.
In 2357, he was assigned as an Ensign aboard the USS Victory under Captain Zimbata. After his first cruise, he was transferred to the USS Hood for her 2361-64 cruise, during which he was promoted once, to Lieutenant Junior Grade. On the Hood La Forge knew the young spitfire XO William Riker only professionally, but the two would develop a close friendship during their later years together on the Enterprise. In 2364 he was named chief con officer, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) under Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
In 2365, he was promoted to a full Lieutenant and transferred from command to the operations division and named chief engineer, replacing Lieutenant Commander Logan. In 2366, he was promoted again to Lieutenant Commander (sometime between Star Trek: The Next Generation seasons two and three). As of 2379, LaForge still held the rank of Lieutenant Commander although in an alternate history (seen in Star Trek: Voyager) he eventually rises to the rank of Captain.
Sometime between Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact La Forge received ocular implants which replaced the VISOR, giving him a more 'normal' appearance. This was also done because the VISOR and the input ports on La Forge's head had proved to be a security risk. At one point during The Next Generation, Romulans captured him and used the input ports to send commands directly to his brain. Later, in Generations, Tolian Soran captured La Forge, attached a concealed transmitter to the VISOR, and released him. Back on the Enterprise, La Forge looked at a computer screen showing information on the ship's deflector shields, allowing a Klingon vessel receiving the transmission to penetrate the shields and damage the ship so badly that the Enterprise became a total loss.
In 2372, he was transferred to the new Sovereign class Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) after the previous Enterprise was destroyed in Generations. During the Ba'ku incident (Star Trek: Insurrection) Geordi began to experience annoying pain in his eyes after sojourning on the planet. Doctor Crusher removed his ocular implants to discover that Geordi's optic nerve had regenerated and he had gained normal sight. This effect was caused by the healing properties of Ba'ku's atmosphere. At the time it was uncertain if the effect would fade after Geordi left Ba'ku. That diagnosis was eventually discovered to be correct, as La Forge had taken to again wearing the ocular implants during the Reman uprising depicted in "Star Trek: Nemesis".
In the Voyager episode "Timeless", La Forge was shown as being the captain of the ship USS Challenger in the year 2390, doing his best to stop Harry Kim and Chakotay from altering the timeline, but they were successful and that reality was erased. It is possible La Forge will still someday end up as captain of the Challenger, but it is not at all certain.
In a different future timeline ("All Good Things...", TNG), La Forge had by 2395 married Leah Brahms and had three children with her (Alandra, Brett, and Sydney). He had left Starfleet and become a novelist. However, the certainty of this future is likewise suspect, especially considering it was essentially a product of Q's mind.
The major childhood trauma of being alone in his burning home caused him great duress, though he was pulled to safety after only two minutes. His parents always being stationed away added to this exacerbation.
Geordi La Forge's outstanding characteristic is his adaptability to and satisfaction with life. His sense of humor remained strong, despite his irreverence being tempered with his growing responsibilities.
Geordi was slightly insecure concerning dating and women, though he has had significant relationships with Christy Henshaw, Lt. Aqueil Uhnari, and Dr. Leah Brahms. He was best friends with Data, and maintained close relationships with Miles O'Brien and Susanna Leitjen. He and Data often role played Sherlock Holmes, where Data was the aforementioned and La Forge was Dr. Watson.
He enjoyed the senior officer's weekly poker game, and though his artificial "eyes" allowed him to detect bluffing and see his opponents' cards in the ultraviolet spectrum, he never "peeked" until a hand was over. He also delighted in scale model building of old sailing ships, chess, swimming, skin-diving, the history of his profession, and fencing. He was not well-suited for writing or the mandolin, despite a prefence for guitar music. He liked iced tea and pasta, such as fungilli. Due to his nomadic upbringing, he was adept at various languages including Hahlian.
La Forge had great talent for engineering and a keen judgment for needed modifications in the field; his faith in technology and his ability to master it were normally an inspiration to those around him. His intense focus enabled him to master the complexities of warp engineering and other starship systems. As a junior officer, his specialties included antimatter power, dilithium regulators, Holodeck computer programs, and climate-control computers. An all-night refit of a shuttle engine after an off-hand comment by a superior officer garnered the attention of Jean-Luc Picard, as it was testament to his no-nonsense skill and insight. During the Cochrane project he recalled the Phoenix test vehicle's intermix chamber from memory.
In First Contact, La Forge helped his idol Dr. Zefram Cochrane, Terran scientist, eccentric genius, and inventor of the warp drive, launch his warp test vessel Phoenix in order to make the historic initial meeting with the Vulcans. Similarly, when a transporter loop allowed Geordi to come into contact with the near-mythic engineer Montgomery Scott, in 2369 the two joined forces to free the Enterprise from a Dyson Sphere's interior.
- 1. With his ocular implants, La Forge is a cyborg. Born without formative matter in his eyes, La Forge's VISOR was installed early in his youth and he wore the prosthetic throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation (during fictional years 2364-2370). The VISOR was replaced with spherical ocular impants between the events of Star Trek: Generations (2371) and Star Trek: First Contact (2373).