It’s the birthday of Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton!
Happy 65th Birthday to LeVar Burton, the man who made Geordi La Forge an icon on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the world of Star Trek, he’s one of the most loveable characters in franchise history, but in the world beyond Trek and La Forge, Burton is arguably more beloved.
Burton may have brought La Forge to life on The Next Generation but he did a whole lot more than that. Namely from his time on Reading Rainbow, where he helped teach kids not only how to read but the joys of reading.
Burton has been a featured person in most peoples’ lives from a very young age, and with it being his birthday, we wanted to take a beat and share with you four Geordi La Forge-centric episodes that we feel are worth your time.
Four Star Trek eps featuring Geordi La Forge to watch on LeVar Burton’s birthday
Next Generation’s “The Enemy” – Season 3 Episode 7
There’s been a few versions of this episode, the “alien and Federation officer have to work together to survive”. TNG’s “Darmok” follows a similar storyline, where Jean-Luc Picard has to work with an alien he can’t understand to face a killer beast. Then there’s the Enterprise episode “Dawn”, where Tripp has to work with an Arkonian to survive. In “The Enemy”, Geordi has to work with a Romulan to survive a planet besieged by electromagnetic storms. It’s similar in the vein as the others, but it adds the long-standing issue with the Romulans and the Federation as the backdrop for this story. In all of the other stories, it’s usually a never-before-seen alien that the officer has to work with. Not this time, as the Romulan/Federation feud was long-standing at this point.
Next Generation’s “I, Borg” – Season 5, Episode 23
“I, Borg” introduced Hugh, a very popular minor character in the Star Trek canon. He was a Borg who developed an individuality all of his own, but despite that, Jean-Luc Picard still had no sympathy for the being and while this episode is very much a Picard/Hugh episode, it’s Geordi’s interference and encouragement that helps Picard to see Hugh as less of an enemy and more of a victim.
Next Generation’s “Relics” – Season 6, Episode 4
The Next Generation had a few instances where they crossed paths with the Original Series crew, and this was the episode that brought in James Doohan, making his last televised appearance as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. Scotty was found in a Federation ship stranded on a Dyson Sphere, where he had been stuck. Scotty had a hard time adjusting to the new era but it was Geordi who was there for him, from one master engineer to another, and helps Scotty find renewed purpose in his new time.
Voyager’s “Timeless” – Season 5, Episode 6
Jumping from the Alpha to the Delta Quadrant is Voyager’s “Timeless”. We find out that Voyager has long been destroyed due to an issue with the Slipstream drive, and only Harry Kim and Chakotay have survived, having not been on board at the time of the crash. The lone good thing was that it got Chakotay and Kim closer to Federation space and now 15 years after the failure of the Slipstream drive, the two men have resigned from Starfleet and are being chased down by their former comrades as they seek to tamper with time. The man who is leading the chase for Chakotay and Kim? Captain Geordi La Forge. La Forge is now the captain of the USS Challenger and uses his gentle spirit to try and talk Kim and Chakotay down from what they intend on doing, but vows he’ll do what he can to stop them. Of course, Kim and Chakotay go through with it, otherwise, the show would’ve ended six episodes into the fifth season. It’s a great cameo by a great actor and while it isn’t as substantial as other Trek episodes he was on, his involvement still made it extremely memorable.