Star Trek icon Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) has become a legendary member of the franchise and has featured in some all-time great episodes of both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Picard. Burton was already a household name by the time he joined the final frontier, having made a named for himself with the groundbreaking miniseries Roots and the educational children’s program Reading Rainbow. Geordi made his debut in the TNG pilot “Encounter At Farpoint,” an eager young Ensign understandably excited for his adventures on the USS Enterprise-D to get underway.

Geordi was promoted to the ship’s Chief Engineer at the start of Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, a role he’d stay in for the remainder of TNG‘s seven-season run, as well as the four followup films starring the show’s cast. Two decades after the final TNG film, Star Trek: Nemesis, Geordi made his triumphant return in Star Trek: Picard season 3, a family man reluctant to get involved in Admiral Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) plans to thwart a Changeling plot against the Federation. Even twenty years on, Geordi remains the brilliant, empathetic man he’s always been.



10 TNG: “Interface”

Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation

An underrated season 7 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Interface” sees Geordi experiment with a new virtual reality probe that he utilizes through his VISOR implants to create an incredibly real experience. It’s an interesting idea that delivers some interesting visuals, but the heart of the story is the disappearance of Geordi’s mother, Captain Silva La Forge (Madge Sinclair). After Starfleet classifies Captain La Forge’s ship, the USS Hera, to be lost, Geordi mysteriously begins seeing his mother through the probe interface, leading him down a complicated road of grief and confusion. LeVar Burton gives a tremendous performance that deserves more praise.

9 TNG: “Elementary, Dear Data”

Data and Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation

While Star Trek: The Next Generation often tried to establish a romantic relationship for Geordi, more often than not those attempts came off as either noble failures or embarrassing disasters – the less said about Geordi’s problematic relationship with Dr. Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney) the better. The one relationship in Geordi’s life that always clicked was his friendship with the android Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner). “Elementary, Dear Data” is a great glimpse into that friendship, as the pair spend their free time re-enacting Sherlock Holmes stories on the holodeck. The intrusion of a sentient hologram of Professor James Moriarty (Daniel Davis) adds a nice layer of tension.

8 Picard: “Surrender”

Geordi and Data reunited in Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 6

There are many reasons to criticize Star Trek: Nemesis, but near the top of that list of complaints has to be the fact that the movie did very little to address Geordi and Data’s bond in the wake of Data’s death. The Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode “Surrender” sees Data returned to life in a new, aged, synthetic body, finally reunited with his beloved command crew from the USS Enterprise-D. But above all else, “Surrender” gave Data and Geordi a chance to express how much they have meant to each other over their lives, a moment Nemesis seemed largely uninterested in. Data’s return is momentous for many reasons, but his moment with Geordi at the end of “Surrender” is among the most fulfilling.

7 TNG: “Identity Crisis”

Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation

A creepy, slow burn of an episode, “Identity Crisis” finds a Starfleet away team from five years earlier mysteriously drawn back to the planet they had surveyed years before. Geordi gets to spend some quality time with his former crewmate Lieutenant Commander Susanna Leitjen (Maryann Plunkett), with whom he shares a warm, sibling-esque connection. Susanna was on the away team years earlier and begins showing bizarre symptoms, including an overwhelming urge to return to the planet’s surface. Geordi eventually succumbs to the illness as well, transforming into a sort of glow in the dark reptile man. Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) eventually is able to cure both Geordi and Susanna.

6 TNG: “The Mind’s Eye”

Brainwashing Geordi LaForge Star Trek The Next Generation

On his way to Risa for a much-needed vacation, Geordi’s shuttle is intercepted and captured by Romulan operatives. The Romulans mercilessly torture Geordi, beaming images of horrific violence directly into his mind in an effort to brainwash him. The Romulans want Geordi to serve as a sleeper agent and assassinate a Klingon governor to complicate Federation/Klingon relations. It’s a tense, unnerving episode, as Geordi slips in an out of his programming to make sure he’s subconsciously covering his tracks. The plan ultimately fails, but Geordi’s trauma lingers long enough that he requires the assistance of Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) to overcome it.

5 TNG: “The Next Phase”

Ro Laren and Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Geordi didn’t have a lot of opportunities to interact with Ensign Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes), but “The Next Phase” was a delightful exception. After an accident aboard a seemingly disabled Romulan Warbird effectively renders Geordi and Ro invisible, the pair must race to stop a Romulan plot from destroying the USS Enterprise-D. It’s an interesting dynamic, as the religious Ro assumes the pair have died, while the more agnostic Geordi is sure there’s a scientific way out of their dilemma. Geordi’s efforts to lead Data to the solution while he’s invisible is a lot of fun, and “The Next Phase” makes a compelling argument for more Geordi/Ro stories.

4 Picard: “The Bounty”

Picard Geordi Alandra La Forge

Geordi made his much-anticipated return in the Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode “The Bounty.” Now a Commodore in command of the Fleet Museum, Geordi is visited by his old friends aboard the USS Titan-A, as they attempt to evade Changeling attacks. Geordi is initially reluctant to help Picard and friends, as it would put his daughter, Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) in major danger. It’s an authentic, slightly sad portrait of a parent grappling with their own ideals as well the instinct to protect their children. Burton has simply never been better than this episode, especially when Sidney confronts him head on.

3 TNG: “I Borg”

Hugh looks contemplative in Star Trek TNG

When the USS Enterprise-D discovers a crashed Borg ship with one survivor, Dr. Crusher demands the injured drone be brought onboard and treated, despite Captain Picard’s misgivings. The Borg drone – eventually named Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) – comes under Geordi’s direct care, where he builds a surprising bond with the young drone who turns out to be more than meets the eye. Geordi faces a personal crisis when Picard intends to deliver Hugh back to the Borg Collective with a lethal virus, and along with Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), proved to be a crucial player in getting Picard to change his mind. It’s one of Geordi’s most affecting storylines.

2 TNG: “The Enemy”

Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation

After an away team accident, Geordi finds himself stranded on the volatile planet Galorndon Core; a raging electromagnetic storm means the USS Enterprise-D is unable to beam him back onboard. Making matters worse, Geordi finds that he’s not alone on the planet, as he’s trapped alongside a paranoid, injured Romulan officer. The storm renders Geordi’s VISOR unusable, forcing him and the Romulan to work together to signal their respective ships from the surface. The Enterprise gets there first, but the Romulan is granted mercy and returned to his vessel at Geordi’s request, a suggestion Picard is more than happy to comply with in order to avoid a galactic incident.

1 TNG: “Relics”

Geordi La Forge and Montgomery Scott in Star Trek: The Next Generation

While the meeting between Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in Star Trek Generations was somewhat underwhelming, Geordi’s meeting with his Star Trek: The Original Series counterpart is thrilling. After spending decades in a transporter buffer, the USS Enterprise-D rescues Captain Montgomery Scott (James Doohan). After rubbing each other the wrong way, Scotty and Geordi eventually learn to appreciate and respect each other as engineers as well as men. “Relics” is one of the few Star Trek crossovers that works absolutely brilliantly.

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