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It won't turn out that way, Captain. We still have time to make it better.
~ LaForge

Geordi LaForge was a secondary hero in Star Trek:The Next Generation and subsequent Star Trek movies based on the series. He was a noted Starfleet officer who served on the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) and Enterprise (NCC-1701-E). LaForge was played by LeVar Burton. The character was named after the late quadriplegic Star Trek fan George La Forge.

History

Blind from birth LaForge received surgical implants and a VISOR that enabled him to see. He received his first visor around the age of five. Despite the pain and the distortion inherent with his VISOR LaForge was able to lead a normal life - one of the few people able to do so. He learned pain suppression techniques from a Vulcan healer. Following in the footsteps of his Starfleet officer parents he entered Starfleet Academy. Graduating from the academy he became an officer in the 2350s.

In 2364 Lieutenant Junior Grade LaForge was assigned to the newly launched Enterprise-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. For his first year on the ship he served mainly as a conn officer and assisted other departments such as security when required. He quickly became friends with Lieutenant Commander Data during this time. He also began serving as a mentor to Wesley Crusher as he took his first initial steps towards a career in Starfleet.

The following year he was promoted to full Lieutenant and became Chief Engineer of the Enterprise.

LaForge was a regular participant in the senior officer poker games. Depending on the kind of cards used his VISOR enabled him to see the cards others had, but he never peeked until after the hand had been played.

In 2368 LaForge was captured by Romulans who attempted to use his optic implants to brainwash him into making it appear that the Federation was supporting rebels against the Klingon Empire and to attempt an assassination of a anti-Federation Klingon governor. Fortunately this was detected by Data and LaForge was stopped by Worf from killing the governor and destroying the alliance.

LaForge met Montgomery Scott in 2369 after Scotty was rescued from a static transporter buffer. After some initial bumps the two men became friends and managed to rescue the Enterprise-D after she had become trapped in a Dyson Sphere.

In 2371 LaForge was captured by Tolian Soran. Soran modified LaForge's visor so that it would transmit images back to the Klingon ship commanded by the Duras sisters. When LaForge went to engineering he glanced at a display that had the ship's shield modulation frequency. The sisters were able to adjust their weapons to match that frequency and were able to inflict massive damage on the Enterprise. Though the Duras sisters died when their ship was destroyed the Enterprise was still lost - the drive section exploded due to a core overload and the saucer crashed on Veridian III.

GeordiLaForge1

LaForge after receiving ocular implants

With the launch of the Enterprise-E LaForge was assigned as chief engineer. Shortly after the launch of the Enterprise LaForge was given a choice by Admiral Hayes - either replace the VISOR with something less prone to tampering or be reassigned to a less sensitive posting. LaForge did not want to comply with this forced medical treatment, a position supported by Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher. However after learning more about the new bio-neural ocular implants, including the better visual range and closer approximation of real vision he decided to go ahead with the surgery. He was given the option to have the implants made to look like natural eyes, but he declined that option.

In 2373 LaForge was on the Enterprise when they traveled back to 2063 to stop the Borg from interfering with the first contact between Earth and Vulcan. As such he met and worked with Dr. Zefram Cochrane, and accompanied him along with Commander Riker as Cochrane made the first successful warp jump by a human. This was detected by a Vulcan ship and first contact proceeded as planned.

When the Enterprise arrived at the Ba'ku planet to investigate an incident with Data, the metaphasic radiation present caused LaForge to be able to see through real eyes for the first time in his life. He beamed down to the surface of Ba'ku and got to fulfill a lifelong dream in that he was able to see a sunrise with normal vision.

In 2379 LaForge helped Data make his way on to the Reman ship Scimitar to rescue Captain Picard. Data was able to save his shipmates and ultimately Earth with the self sacrificial act of destroying the Reman superweapon.

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