The new Star Trek: Picard series headed to CBS All Access will take place decades after the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation. LeVar Burton is hoping the romantic prospects of his character, Geordi La Forge, will have improved by then.
La Forge's poor luck in love was a recurring theme in The Next Generation. His most successful relationship was with a woman he programmed into the Enterprise’s holodeck. Even that led to heartbreak in the long run. Speaking to CNN, Burton says he’d like the hear that Geordi got close to a flesh and blood woman by the time Picard takes place.
"I'd settle with him having a date with somebody he didn't invent on the Holodeck,” Burton says. “If he could just have sex with a real person, I'd be so happy!"
Burton expects that he’ll have the chance to catch up with Geordi during the era of Picard. He believes that, sooner or later, the cast of The Next Generation will appear on the new streaming show.
Star Trek has been a part of Burton's history for a long time. As he explained in a CBC Radio interview in November, his life was touched by Star Trek even before joining the cast of The Next Generation.
“I felt a responsibility, having been an enormous fan of the original series, Star Trek,” Burton said of joining The Next Generation's cast. “I’m a huge fan of the science fiction genre, always have been. Science fiction is my go-to body of literature for just pure pleasure and enjoyment. When I want to read something for me, it’s generally science fiction or fantasy. Star Trek was one of the very few representations of the future I encountered as a kid where people who looked like me were represented. So in an era in my and in America where it was rare to see black people on TV except on the nightly news during the Vietnam War era when most of the soldiers we were sending to the theater of were black kids, Star Trek was huge.
"What Gene Roddenberry, as a storyteller, was saying to me was, ‘When the future comes, there’s a place for you.’ That was...it’s hard to underestimate the power that seeing oneself reflected in the popular culture, what impact it has. It validates you. Absent seeing yourself represented, or people who are like you represented in popular culture, you are sent a very dangerous message, a message that says, ‘You don’t matter,’ that you’re not important. So you know, quite naturally, I clung onto that example of black people in the future.”
How do you think Geordi is faring in the future of the Star Trek universe? Let us know in the comments.