Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge was one of the few characters who appeared in every single episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” La Forge was central to countless major storylines and several episodes of the show featured him as the main character.
So, fans of TNG got to know Geordi pretty well. They knew that his mother and father were also members of Starfleet. They also knew that he was born blind and didn’t get his VISOR until he was five. And they knew that he excelled in engineering at the Academy, specialized in antimatter power and dilithium regulators, and idolized Zefram Cochrane.
However, Geordi’s backstory was almost very different. A pitch rejected by the team behind TNG would have revealed that Geordi wasn’t who he thought he was.
Geordi the Half-Alien?!?
Jeri Taylor, one of TNG’s lead writers and producers, told the authors of “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years,” that some of the writers wanted to make Geordi half-alien. They pitched a story in which Geordi found out his true parentage in a truly shocking way:
He was going to discover that his father was not who he thought he was, and his mother had an almost ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ kind of thing and had been impregnated by an alien. As a result, Geordi was actually half alien and now, at his present age, his people were coming back to get him. I thought that would have given Geordi’s character a lot of elaboration.
Obviously, the storyline never made it into an episode. Details about Geordi’s family were revealed in the fifth season episode “Imaginary Friend” and the seventh season episode “Interface.” His mother was Captain Silva La Forge, the captain of the USS Hera, and his father was Edward M. La Forge, a respected exozoologist.
Geordi the Q Creation?
Another big reveal about Geordi’s birth was slated for the “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Death Wish.” According to Memory Alpha, the original version of the script had a part for Geordi, not Commander William Riker, who ended up appearing in the episode.
In the original script, Q revealed that the Q Continuum often intervened in the lives of humans in order to force a certain outcome. He then disclosed that the Q Continuum had orchestrated Geordi’s birth so that he could become the Chief Engineer on the Enterprise-D. So, without the Continuum, Geordi wouldn’t exist.
The original script also included a line about how Lieutenant Commander Tuvok would have become the Chief Engineer aboard the Enterprise-D instead of Geordi had it not been for the actions of the Continuum. John de Lancie, who played Q, revealed that this was an inside joke about the fact that Tim Russ, the actor who played Tuvok, lost the role of Geordi to LeVar Burton. However, the joke was cut from the script long before they revised it to include Riker instead of Geordi. The writers decided that it was too vague of a reference to add any value to the story.
Though many wild alternate backstories were considered for Geordi, the writers decided it made more sense to flesh out his character in other ways.
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