Star Trek Reveals More of What Happened to Ro Laren's Between Next Generation and Picard

Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 5 shocked Star Trek fans. Those fans knew that Star Trek: The Next Generation's main cast would appear in the season, but they may not have expected the return of a certain popular recurring Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star, Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren. Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 5, "Imposters," gave Ro's character arc a more satisfying ending than the one she received in her final Star Trek: The Next Generation appearance in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 7 episode "Preemptive Strike," while also revealing more about the Changeling conspiracy threatening Starfleet. 

However, the episode doesn't have much time to go into detail about what Ro has been up to in the years between her previous appearance and this one, with Ro offering only a summary overview. However, more details are revealed in the new Star Trek comic book Star Trek: Defiant #1. SPOILERS for Star Trek: Defiant #1 by Christopher Cantwell, Angel Unzueta, Marissa Louise, and Clayton Cowles follow.

What is Star Trek: Defiant?

Star Trek: Defiant spins out of IDW Publishing's ongoing Star Trek series, which launched a new era for IDW's Star Trek comics line. In Star Trek, the Bajoran Prophets have sent Benjamin Sisko back to linear time to investigate the murder of several god-like alien beings. That mission led Sisko and his crew aboard the Theseus into Klingon space, where he reunited with Worf and discovered that Kahless II, the clone of the original Emperor Kahless, is behind the deicidal spree.

Kahless has built up a movement among Klingons that calls itself the Red Path. When Sisko's crew confronted Kahless on his flagship, the emperor sent a party to board the Theseus. Worf defended against the intruders and was shocked to discover that his son, Alexander, was among them. After repelling the boarding party, Sisko ordered Kahless' ship destroyed. Worf stopped him, knowing that Sisko's order would mean Alexander's death (not to mention war with the Klingon Empire). A schism formed between Sisko and Worf, and Worf departed the Theseus

Ro Laren joins Worf's Defiant crew

Worf decides to pursue Kahless differently. He assembles an unusual crew and steals the USS Defiant from Starfleet. He soon learns that Kahless is using what remains of the Maquis' contact network and dealt with some Orion pirates. He needs someone to help him navigate the underworld.

That's where Ro Laren comes in. Starfleet had captured and imprisoned Ro, as it did many Maquis members during and following the Dominion War. Worf sprung Ro from the prison colony where she was serving a life sentence (a similar situation to the one she was in when introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Ensign Ro") and assigns her to the Defiant's helm. Interestingly, the former Maquis member B'Elenna Torres, who served with Starfleet aboard Voyager, still believes that Ro was always a Starfleet spy, despite her imprisonment.

Ro Laren and Worf in Star Trek: Picard

While Star Trek: Defiant #1 is only the start of the story, it already begins providing additional details about Ro's backstory, especially her relationship with Worf. We see in Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 5 that Ro is Worf's handler. It seems this evolution of their relationship begins here, aboard the Defiant

We also know that Ro makes up for activities in the Maquis by serving in Starfleet Intelligence. Given the clandestine nature of Worf's rogue mission, it seems likely that her time aboard the Defiant will lead her into Starfleet service again, eventually earning the right to serve in a public capacity down the line.

How to watch Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres new episodes on Thursdays on Paramount+Star Trek: Picard's first two seasons are already streaming on Paramount+, as are all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek: Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.