Geordi Almost Had His Sight Restored On Star Trek: TNG – News Today

Geordi Almost Had His Sight Restored On Star Trek: TNG

LeVar Burton had mixed feelings about Geordi La Forge’s VISOR on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he came to understand how important it was.

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge

Summary

  • Geordi La Forge’s VISOR, which allowed him to see along the electromagnetic spectrum, was never treated as an impediment and he saved the Enterprise on many occasions.
  • LeVar Burton, the actor who played Geordi, originally wanted Geordi’s sight restored due to discomfort and limitations as an actor, but he realized the character’s inspiration to blind and differently abled fans.
  • Geordi eventually upgraded to ocular implants in Star Trek: First Contact, which provided enhanced vision and were more comfortable for the actor. He temporarily had his natural vision restored in Star Trek: Insurrection.

LeVar Burton once proposed a Star Trek: The Next Generation story that would have restored the sight of his character, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge. Born blind, Geordi wore a VISOR throughout all seven seasons of TNG that allowed him to see along the electromagnetic spectrum. As the Chief Engineer on the USS Enterprise-D, La Forge was a quick thinker and problem solver who rarely encountered an engineering problem he couldn’t solve. Geordi’s blindness was never depicted as an impediment, and he saved the Enterprise on many occasions.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, episode 5, “Loud as a Whisper,” a deaf mediator named Riva (Howie Seago) visits the Enterprise. Riva notices Geordi LaForge’s VISOR, remarking that “it’s a blessing to understand we are special, each in his own way.” La Forge is just as capable as any other member of the Enterprise crew, and he is never treated differently because of his blindness. In “Loud as a Whisper,” Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) offers to perform an experimental surgery that could potentially restore Geordi’s natural sight. Although Geordi has expressed a desire to see in the past, he tells Dr. Pulaski that he will need time to think about it.

Star Trek: The Next Generation cast & character guide
Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast & Character Guide

Star Trek: The Next Generation has one of the most beloved cast of characters in all of science fiction. Here are the major characters of the classic.

Why LeVar Burton Decided Not To Restore Geordi’s Sight In Star Trek: TNG

Despite his own physical discomfort, Burton understood the impact of La Forge’s VISOR.

Star Trek TNG Loud as a Whisper Riva Geordi Riker Picard

Actor LeVar Burton had his own personal reasons for wanting Geordi’s sight restored. For one thing, the VISOR prop limited Burton’s vision and pressed uncomfortably on the sides of his head, causing headaches. The VISOR also completely covered his eyes, which limited Burton’s ability to emote as an actor. Early in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Burton expressed a desire for La Forge to lose the VISOR for the reasons mentioned, but he soon abandoned the idea after realizing how inspiring his character had become to blind and other differently abled fans.

La Forge’s VISOR was inspired by a hair clip that someone brought to the set during the pre-production process of TNG. Geordi’s VISOR has not only inspired real life technology and fashion trends, but has also become an iconic and instantly recognizable look.

The surgery Dr. Pulaski references in “Loud as a Whisper” is never mentioned again, but that moment might have been included in case the writers had decided to restore La Forge’s sight. However, Burton later came to see Geordi’s VISOR as an advantage, as it allowed him to see things that others could not. Because of the limited budget and technology of the time, viewers did not often get to see through Geordi’s VISOR, but it was fascinating when it did happen. In some of Geordi La Forge’s best TNG episodes, his VISOR allowed him to see something that saved the day or led to an important discovery. Many storylines would have gone differently if Geordi’s sight had been restored in TNG season 2.

La Forge also temporarily had his natural sight restored in Star Trek: Insurrection.

Geordi continued to wear his VISOR for all seven seasons of TNG and one film before LeVar Burton finally got to move to contacts for Star Trek: First Contact. Although Star Trek had established the existence of ocular implant technology as early as Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, Geordi did not upgrade his eyewear until sometime after Star Trek Generations. His new implants provided the same enhanced vision that his VISOR had, and they were much more comfortable for LeVar Burton as an actor. The blue contacts had intricate designs, so they still looked futuristic, but they also allowed Burton to act with his eyes.

In Star Trek: InsurrectionGeordi temporarily has his natural vision restored due to the healing properties of the Ba’ku planet, allowing him to witness a sunrise with human eyes for the first time. After La Forge and the Enterprise-E crew leave the planet, his blindness returns and he continues wearing the ocular implants. Geordi still has the implants when he returns in Star Trek: Picard season 3, now a Commodore and the Head Curator of the Starfleet Museum. Geordi La Forge has come a long way since his earliest appearances in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but his VISOR will always be one of science fiction’s most iconic looks.

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