LeVar Burton will always have a special place in our hearts for his role as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but if you’re of a certain age, odds are you’re fond of him for a more terrestrial role as well. For 30 years, Burton hosted the venerable PBS show Reading Rainbow, showing kids across the world the magic of books. The show went off the air in 2009, and now Burton and company have turned to everyone’s favorite crowdsourcing platform, Kickstarter, to not only bring the show back, but to take into the future as well.
Their video is fun, playing on Burton’s celebrity. Watching people gawk at him is like that episode of Community where he shows up and Troy (Donald Glover) is left star struck and speechless. Presumably, if most of you out there were to run into him, your awe would come from his time on Star Trek, but admit it, there is at least a segment of you who would react that way because of the Rainbow.
Check out their video below:
Did you watch to the very end? If you didn’t you really need to go back and check out the cameo from Burton’s crewmate aboard the Enterprise, Brent Spiner, better known as the android Data. If you don’t you’re missing out.
Where will your money go, you ask? Their efforts will go towards updating Reading Rainbow to meet the needs of kids in a digital age. If they reach their $1 million goal—they’re already more than $600,000 there—they plan to provide their unlimited library of free digital books, tutorials, and virtual field trips to kids and classrooms. Their aim is to develop a web-enabled version of the show and provide universal access to any kid with an Internet connection. They also plan to subsidize any costs to cash-strapped schools.
Because this is a Kickstarter, you bet your ass there’s some cool swag, and because LeVar Burton is involved, you are correct in assuming that most of it revolves around him. You can get your mitts on all sorts of autographed memorabilia, but that’s just the start. You can appear in video field trips. How would you like LeVar Burton to read a story to your entire family? That’s on the table. Want to hang out with him at Comic Con? That’s one of the rewards.
Then there’s the nerdiest prize of all, even nerdier than hanging out with LeVar Burton at Comic Con, which says quite a bit. Given Reading Rainbow enough money and you may get the chance to wear Geordi’s visor. Yes, you can wear Geordi La Forge’s iconic visor. Don’t you want to slap that thing on and run around pretending that you’re on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise?