You would be hard-pressed to find a more beloved person in pop culture than LeVar Burton. As the host of the PBS Kids educational series Reading Rainbow for more than 23 years, he cemented himself as a formative figure for an entire generation. Furthermore, he starred in a key role in the massively influential, groundbreaking television miniseries Roots, playing Kunta Kinte in the generational saga of slavery in America. But perhaps more than anything else, he is Geordi La Forge of Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the most famous Black characters in science fiction. LeVar Burton is set to return to his iconic character for the final season of Star Trek: Picard, and he just dropped a big spoiler: he’s not the only Burton on the show.
Specifically, his daughter Mica Burton will be playing one of Geordi La Forge’s two daughters in season three of Picard. According to a recent interview with Yahoo, LeVar Burton revealed that this upcoming season of Picard was in part an introduction to the next generation of The Next Generation, as it were. He also says “This season of Picard is a love poem to Next Generation” and that audiences will get to see all of their favorite characters from the Enterprise-D at a new point in their lives. Well, almost all, though we are not sure if anyone would describe Wesley Crusher as a favorite character. We certainly do look forward to seeing LeVar Burton back as Geordi La Forge and finding out whether he will be wearing the iconic visor this time around.
LeVar Burton is confirmed to be appearing in Picard season 3, along with fellow Next Generation alumni Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, and Gates McFadden. This season of Patrick Stewart’s swan song as Jean-Luc Picard has been announced to be the final one for the series, which makes it likely that it will be the last time we see many of these characters. LeVar Burton, for one, has expressed that he will be satisfied with this being his last performance as Geordi La Forge.
On the other hand, the Star Trek franchise is currently in a stage of explosive expansion, with more shows concurrently airing than any other time in its decades-long history. That makes it entirely possible that any of the Next Generation characters could re-appear in some capacity or even receive their own shows. LeVar Burton does seem to leave the door open in the Yahoo interview to return if the situation were right, and Michael Dorn has been pushing for a Worf solo show for years now, so…
LeVar Burton has openly expressed criticism on how Geordi La Forge was portrayed on The Next Generation, saying that he viewed the character’s consistent awkwardness in relationships as being a tired racist trope. Hopefully, Picard will send LeVar Burton, Geordi La Forge, and all the rest of The Next Generation off on a better note than that. Picard season three is expected to premiere on Paramount+ sometime in 2023.