LeVar Burton Confirms Discussions To Appear in ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Season one of Star Trek: Picard included guest spots for a few members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, and now it looks like more of Sir Patrick Stewart’s TNG co-stars could join him in season two.

LeVar Burton talks Picard

Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton was interviewed by remote on Entertainment Tonight, and was asked if there was potential for him to reprise his role of Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: Picard. The actor was cagey at first, saying he didn’t want to get himself into trouble—indicating there was some secret to be kept. He then hinted more directly:

I think it is reasonable to assume that those people are still a part of Picard’s life…Sure what the hell. Yeah! Absolutely. [laughs]

When pressed, the actor made it even clearer:

You will see us all. Probably not all at the same time, although, never say never.

Burton last played the character of Geordi La Forge in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. The first season of Star Trek: Picard included guest appearances from TNG stars Brent Spiner (Data), Jonathan Frakes (Riker), and Marina Sirtis (Troi). TNG guest star Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh) also had a recurring role in the first season, as did Star Trek: Voyager star Jeri Ryan. In addition to Burton, the remaining TNG main cast members yet to show up are Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher), Michael Dorn (Worf), and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher).

LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn visited Patrick Stewart on the Picard set when Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes were guest stars (Instagram/Isa Briones)

In his ET interview, Burton even revealed what he told Picard producers about where he sees Geordi in 2399:

I have suggested to the producers that we find Geordi in a position where he is teaching and passing that knowledge and information on to another generation. We’ll see. Alex [Kurtzman] and the folks are in charge and they are doing an amazing job. When they call and whatever they want me to do, I’m pretty sure it is going to be spectacular.

When pressed even more, Burton confirmed that his return has “been talked about” but when asked if there was a signed deal he would only say “mum’s the word.”

Writing on the second season of Picard is currently underway. So far the only member of the TNG cast confirmed for Picard season two is Whoopi Goldberg, who will reprise her role of Guinnan.  Shooting was set to start in the summer before the pandemic caused a halt to all film and television production in California.

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: Nemesis

Watch Burton talk Picard and the TNG cast family

The full interview is below, including LeVar talking about how close the TNG cast remains to this day.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news, reviews and analysis at TrekMovie.com.

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If he uploads himself into a golumn he will not only live forever but have enhanced vision! Does everyone end up giving yourself infrared and X-ray vision too? Do the synths already have that and if not, why wouldn’t you?

They discussed that in an episode of TNG. Basically, most people don’t want to rip out their eyes in exchange for increased vision.

This would be just transferring into an improved body as opposed to ripping / modifying the old. Apparently golumn Picard IS the old Picard so no sacrifice on that front necessary.

The new Picard is not the old Picard. Transferring? No soul? Sadly, our dear Jean Luc is gone.

Everything that makes him who he is is in the golem body now. If a soul can be said to exist, the. That soul is now within the golem.

I’d agree with you if this show had some scientific rationalism but Picard is far off fantasy, you got to roll with it.

So you’re accusing the show of lacking scientific rationalism while also arguing for a fantasy concept like a soul. Sounds reasonable…


The soul might be a fantasy concept, but it very much exists in Star Trek universe as what Vulcans call the katra.

If the Soong-type androids can master the mind meld, perhaps they can also perform a katra transfer.

Bingo, no soul – so there never was “old” Picard or “new” Picard just files copied. So why wouldn’t you upload yourself into that enhanced golumn and live forever while being able to breathe in space and see more spectrums?

Souls are fictional, just like Star Trek.

Bingo, so why wouldn’t you upload yourself into that enhanced golumn and live forever while being able to breathe in space and see more spectrums?

Well.. Geordi did at some point between Generations and First Contact.

“If he uploads himself into a golumn he will not only live forever but have enhanced vision!”

After Picard, Data, Worf and Beverly he could be the Fifth Golumn!

The entire TNG cast can then wait out to catch up with Discovery in the year 3187, to receive their proper lecture by St. Michael on how to REALLY save the galaxy, nay, universe!

Vulcan Soul. Don’t be giving Kurtzman ideas. That’s his fantasy finale.

Geordi LaForge is coming back… YES!
Geordi was my role model from The Next Generation personally. I look up to him more than Picard to be honest with you.

He was an engineer on the Enterprise. LaForge knew how to fix a warp drive and all that. A black engineer on a starship gave me hope in humanity.

I have faith in science because of him. As a African American man living in contemporary 21 century America, I’m fascinated by technology and computer science in particular. Science and STEM programs need to be a top priority in education.

Future generations depend on it.

Geordie was one of the best of the TNG characters.
The show became watchable when they promoted him to Chief Engineer.
Can you believe 90s Roddenbery wanted it where you have a space exploration show where your ship is sooo great you don’t have a Chief Engineer as a main character, but you have a Councillor on a ship where the crew isn’t supposed to have issues? It made no sense.

Troi wasn’t intended to be a therapist for the crew. She was an advisor who could provide additional insight, e.g. in negotiations, beyond the spoken words. The problem was that the writers generally didn’t seem to know how to utilize her character properly.

Actually, Troi was both, and more.

Troi was effectively not only a diplomatic advisor, but also a First Contact specialist to advise the captain.

She was a qualified psychologist and did provide therapy and counseling (Barclay, Alexander), but also advised the Captain on the wellbeing of the crew.

Cmd Bremmon, the whole point of having a counselor as therapist was to keep the crew healthy psychologically. They weren’t just mentally healthy because they came from an ideal society any more than that would guarantee physical health. Just as physicians were needed to keep the crew physically healthy, and treat physical injury or illness, counselors did the same for mental health.

TG47 my favorite chief engineer returns to form. What are your favorite Geordie moments from TNG?

I always liked how Geordie’s friends were tech-based: Data, Hugh, the hologram he fell in love with. It’s a bummer that the Picard show killed off Hugh, it would have been nice to see Geordie and Hugh together again.

Yeah, Hugh helping the ex Borg recover and eventually reintegrate into society was interesting enough to be its own story. But now that story can’t be told.

I’ll take a Chief Engineer and a Captain trained for first contacts thanks. And a crew with some emotional intelligence that can handle working on a glorified hotel, let alone a starship .

I imagine people living in a utopia have difficulty developing emotional intelligence because they’re rarely put in challenging situations.

Not sure how you figure that…

Cmd.Bremmon Star Trek is not a perfect utopia like you think it is.

Once again, it just goes to show you that every character is somebody’s favorite. I found Geordi to be boring as hell. Just like all the other TNG characters. Save Worf. Who I found fascinating. Mainly because he wasn’t like the others. And at the time we knew next to nothing about Klingons.

The inclusion of the ship’s shrink was a head scratcher to me, too. She certainly was a therapist for the crew. She eluded to doing it quite often. But I saw no reason for her to be on the bridge. She should have been subordinate to Crusher and been a recurring character. Her services were rarely needed. Even when she was there to “read” the other side of the viewscreen she pretty much mostly only provided the amazingly obvious.

Gene was on a good cocktail of meds back then. That’s how I explain it all away.

This would be great! Having read the Picard prequel novel Last Best Hope, it was cool seeing Geordi as the one in charge of the Synth production on Mars and convincing Bruce Maddox to work on the project. Basically he was the only other member of the Enterprise that had a significant hand in the Romulan relief effort (that we know of, of course).

So him appearing in future episodes would be cool and could jump off from that concept (Yeah, I know the novels aren’t canon, but they can be used as a template for the characters at least).

Geordie was the one in charge or synth production???? Why would they make him the one in charge of programming robots with emotions only to force them to work as slaves on the evacuation fleet, granted under Picard’s watch.
Picard I get with a blind spot for AI after being Locustus but Geordie being part of that sadistic affair; I don’t buy it at all!!!!
If canon address it by having Geordi saying he was forced or something, why him and Picard weren’t friends anymore. Maybe blaming new Picard and still wanting him up on crimes.

LaForge is likely to be in great shape by the time of PIC

*spoilers if you’ve not read the last best hope book*

He was one of the few survivors of the attack on Mars – his entire team was killed and his only job until that point had been building the plastic people out of Voyager-esque bioneural gel packs.

If they fired Raffi just for being associated with Picard’s failure as the leader of the Romulan resettlement (some of them he deliberately put in Federation space thus nullifying the neutral zone and embarrassing the Romulan government – way to go JL!!!), then surely they’d have kicked Geordi out simply for being associated with the synth initiative at all. Starfleet seems to “fire” people like they’re a giant corporation now and not a pseudo military organisation.

So my guess is that LaForge is also a bitter resentful old man who is listlessly drifting through his golden years with no career or purpose and his best friend died and his old captain appropriated his feelings about him.

Raffi wasn’t fired. She says that her ass is going to get fired, but that is likely her being dramatic as she is angry. Later, she just says that her security clearance was revoked. In the pre-show publicity materials released before the show aired, it stated that Raffi returned to Starfleet Intelligence after Picard retired, and then quit of her on accord because no-one believed her conspiracy theories about the Romulans.

Also, I loved “The Last Best Hope” novel.

None of what you said is canon. Her being fired still stands

We don’t have the full story about how Raffi lost her Starfleet position. She said she was “fired,” but she’s not exactly an objective observer.

We do know, however, that she was making noise about the attack on Mars not being what it seemed, and saying things that appeared to outside observers (like her son) to be conspiracy theories… and now we know there was a conspiracy behind the Mars attack. If Raffi was drawing attention to that conspiracy, it’s reasonable to assume that powerful members of that conspiracy (e.g. Oh) would have taken steps to silence her and/or assure that she was not listened to. It’s likely that Raffi’s descent was encouraged, if not orchestrated, by members of the Zhat Vash.

So there’s no reason to assume that Geordi received similar treatment. And there’s no reason to assume that the writers would want to tell the same story next season, either.

The TV show is not required to take the novels into account. That could all be ignored.

They need to ignore any hint that Geordi was involved in programming robots to have emotions only to force them to build the evacuation fleet as slaves. Picard I get, blind spot brought on by dislike of people, disorder, like of Data and some post-Locutus Stockholm Syndrome that I can buy it. But Geordie?!!?? I just cannot see it at all.
If anything I see him quitting working on the fleet in protest and then demanding Picard resign. Maybe that’s why they aren’t friends anymore.

@Cmd. Bremmon: What evidence is there that the A500s had emotions? Or that they were even fully sentient, like Data was? “The Last Best Hope” suggests that they were far less sophisticated than Data or the Coppelius synths.

Chabon stated weeks ago they were simple androids and didn’t have the capacity as Data.

And I think this is where confusion comes in for this stuff. Starfleet and others always built robots the same way we build computers, today, to perform a task. Data was built with the purpose of being its own independent life and can make its own choices. There is a HUGE difference there.

I think Emergency Holograms are a perfect example of that. They were more advanced AIs, but they weren’t considered sentient beings. The Doctor was the first one to make it to that level but it was assumed they couldn’t before. That’s what separate him from Data in a way too and he’s now more sentience than his EM counterparts.

Zora on the Discovery in the future is another example. She was basically just that ships computer and we’re to believe she has now gained sentience as well, but we seen tons of ships computers who has never been anything but simple but advanced AI. What separates her from all the other computers we seen? They are all intelligent but they never go beyond their programming, but we are to believe she did somehow.

And then there is Control, but I don’t want to get into that. ;)

But yes, how intelligent you build these machines suggest how sentient they can become. Again its no different than biological life on this planet. Billions of species and yet we are the only one sentient enough among all of them because of how high our intelligence level is. I imagine the A500s would be basically around the intelligence level of an Orangutan and present simple commands and emotions but nothing beyond that.

So you don’t think AI life = organic life that can engineer itself and improve? Now they’d don’t have imagination and drive?

Data clearly does because as I said he’s more intelligent and we saw him have imagination and drive, ie, his love of painting, singing and performing while being promoted through the ranks in Starfleet.

These don’t because they are clearly built with much less intelligence and can’t evolve to be anymore than what they are no more than a cow, monkey or a dog can. None of them will ever be performing in any Shakespeare plays no matter how long they live.

Again you’re comparing two different things. Not ALL AI life is equal no more than all organic life is equal. Millions of life forms on this planet are much older than us and they never developed or evolved to be smarter than what they always been. There seems to be a threshold or a certain intelligence level that takes hold and can ultimately expand. Based on on AI we seen on Star Trek that seems to be the same idea since the overwhelming presence of Artificial life rarely gets to the level of a Data or the Doctor. Majority simply follow whatever program they were built for and does it without question and will never go beyond that.

In other words intelligent life is no more guaranteed in AI form as it is in biological form.

Data had no love for painting, singing, performing or anything for that matter. He was using these things to express himself as best he could without any emotion behind it

And I, like I’m guessing many here, sadly just ignore most Cmd. Bremmons rants. They are just nonsensical without any evidence or logic, no matter how many times he repeats them.

True that. I don’t want to be forced to do homework to understand something going on on a TV show. I read the Countdown book before Trek ’09. And all that got erased. So I’ve decided to not waste my time anymore.

Then you’re reading the comics for the wrong reason. The comics and novels have NEVER been part of canon, despite what some might claim, since the TV shows and films have always been free to ignore them. COUNTDOWN was no different. The only reason to read them is because you enjoy them. If you do, they’re worth reading. If you don’t, they’re not. Arbitrary “canon” labels are irrelevant to that.

I am aware the comics and novels are not canon. Always have been. I used to read the novels because I enjoyed a good Trek story. But the ones that tie into an existing canonical thing, like Trek ’09 or Picard… Those are supposed to provide a little fan pleasing back story. I put those in a different category. It feels disappointing to invest in the backstory for a movie and then have that backstory later be declared invalid. And I knew it was not canon going in but because of the DIRECT connection to a canonical story it feels like it’s roots ought to be a little more solid than they have turned out to be.


Great news! And I love he says we will eventually see all of them. I couldn’t be happier!

So this adds to the other former Star Trek actors who has confirmed in some discussions for next season:

-Robert Picardo
-Whoopi Goldberg
-Denise Crosby

The only one who has been confirmed in some manner is Goldberg so far but it’s possible we will see a few of these to. We need at least ONE character from DS9.

Denise Crosby is confirmed to be in discussions? With the Romulans playing such a big role on the show it makes sense but I hadn’t heard anything about this. We definitely need some DS9 representation!! It would be easy now to give Quark a cameo on Freecloud and I recall Chabon saying something about Bashir and Garak. It was just an off hand comment and he never gave any indication that this was something they were seriously considering but they are two characters I would love to catch up with.

Well I guess I shouldn’t have said ‘confirmed’ because its all second hand information. Supposedly she said it at a convention panel last year that she was in talks with them but it’s only second hand info. But I first heard about it on this video:


IF its true, a few speculated she would show up in the finale as Sela in a cliffhanger for next season. Obviously that didn’t happen but I’m hoping it’s possible she will show up again!

I remember when Chabon made that comment. I think the fans would go wild to see Bashir or Garak but definitely Garek! ;)

Denise Crosby should come back as her Romulan alter ego. Whoopi Goldberg is incredible.

Honestly I’ll take ANYBODY back, I don’t care lol. If they found a way for George Takei to be on the show (Sulu should be what by the 24th century 154? 156?), I’ll be excited with bells on. ;D

It’s great we know Guinan is coming back though! That sound like it’s all but happening now.

Haha never say never Tiger2. This is afterall science fiction so hibernation, parallel universes, cloning, replicants, time travel, even transporter buffers hahah… its all on the table. As long as its a good story anything is possible AND IT SHOULD BE!

They found a way to get Doohan in TNG. If they wanted Takei I’m sure they could find a way.

At no point has Denise Crosby been “confirmed” for anything.

No you’re right, I shouldn’t have used that word and just said rumored.

Why has Levar Burton not directed any Picard or Discovery yet?

You could replace LeVar with any other director’s name who hasn’t directed Picard or Discovery yet. We have no idea whether either side has approached the other about directing. If they haven’t it simply may not have come up yet. If they have there are many possible reasons why it hasn’t happened (so far): could be scheduling conflicts, creative concerns, financial concerns….

“You could replace LeVar with any other director’s name who hasn’t directed Picard or Discovery yet.”

Not really. He has directed more Star Trek than anyone else has and is deeply connected with it as director like no one else other than Frakes is.

I wasn’t aware how many Trek episodes Burton has directed but there are actually a bunch of people who directed more Star Trek than him. The “king” may be David Livingston with more than 60 episodes across 4 shows. However, what’s probably more important is that Burton hasn’t done a lot of directing since Trek ended. Some of the other actor-turned-directors like Frakes, Dawson and McNeill have been far more active than Burton.

For that matter why haven’t Robert Duncan McNeill and Roxann Dawson directed for both shows as well? They are pretty solid TV directors now. Why are the producers only going with Frakes? Do they think that it will be a little too much Trek behind the scenes?

Both of them seem to be quite active directing other shows. Robert Duncan McNeill is also an executive producer. It’s possible they have been approached but couldn’t fit it into their schedules.

Maybe they haven’t offered him a gig yet.

First of all, kudos to Isa Briones for sharing that great photo of Dorn and Burton along with other Picard cast members and thanks to Trekmovie.com for finding and posting it – very cool!! As for Geordi, this is great to hear. We knew he was alive and probably well as I think either Laris or Zhabon mentioned him in an earlier episode of Picard in S1, so this makes a lot of sense. I would also expect Worf to show up sometime in S2 or S3 as well.

Michael Dorn has said before that he wouldn’t want to put on the makeup again for just a small cameo. Of course, he might change his mind if offered a big enough check. Or they might actually come up with a story that gives him more to do.

Because a picture of Worf appeared on the Federation news broadcast in one of the early episodes of Picard, it seems Dorn will not have to wear the full extensive makeup that we see on Discovery. He must be pleased about that.

The TNG crew coming back together makes me happy.

What is the state of the galaxy in the year 2399?

The Romulan nation is in shambles after a interstellar natural disaster wiped out their homeworld and decimated their empire. I wonder what the Klingons are up to these days.

Did Bajor join the Federation after DS9? Picard season 2 could shed a light on the galaxy once more.

A Romulan Nation is in shambles but has a fleet of 200+ ships ready at a moment’s notice? That doesn’t add up to me.

The only way to make sense of it is to assume that the Zhat Vash withheld resources that could have been used for disaster recovery and/or reconstruction, and used them instead to build and maintain their fleet, on the rationale that it would be better to let Romulus be destroyed (and the Romulan people remain in disarray) than to risk the destruction of all organic life in the galaxy.

I bet they kill him at the end of Season 2, just to ressurect him at the beginning of S3 for killing him again at the end this S.

Never met Levar Burton, but he seems to be a very pleasant guy

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him, and he is a delightful person. Frakes too. Great sense of humor.

Geordi is the most underrated and underused of the TNG cast…IMO. Love him. Hope for a great Picard Story for him.

Liked LaForge a lot. Don’t like ST: Picard at all.

Saw L. Burton at a con a few years back; he gave a snarky answer to a fan’s non-Star Trek-related question and it’s put a sour taste in my mouth since.

If he was there with Frakes, sometimes they get a little “show within the show” going on at various conventions. I think they get many questions thrown at them that either throw them for a loop, or aren’t really something they feel is appropriate to answer in a public forum. I’m sure it was all in good fun.

You know, many people are happy to hear this news, but I am erring on the side of caution. Looking at the track record for the survival of TNG characters in the show (I include Picard himself in that casualty list as well) I certainly don’t have too much of hope that Geordi will survive his episode or season. These producers are too trigger happy to let the “old guard” live.

Right. Was thinking my only concern about this is that they’re going to kill him off in some nonsensical way. I guess what Disney did to Star Wars has made me trigger-shy about original characters.

Danpaine Disney screwed over Star Wars real good. CBS is doing the exact same thing to Star Trek. Don’t care about them.

If Geordi uploads himself into a golumn he can live forever, maybe even with some enhanced strength/vision/capabilities, etc. Think Picard will share this tech with any friend that isn’t related to Data and/or doesn’t have the order inherent to AI?

LaForge is already part way there with his ocular implants.

Geordie won’t do the Picard one trick pony again.

Why not??? AI = life and to some Geordie has already been willing to die and copy himself via transporter. Only an irrational Luddite would not upgrade under those circumstances.

Not surprising.

Although I will say what WAS surprising… That we didn’t get a “surprise” appearance by someone other than those who were confirmed before the season started. I fully expected at least one more TNG person to show up. I guess they managed to create a ‘reverse’ surprise!

I think the big surprise was how much the fans watching enjoyed Riker serving pizza. Embarrassed that was going to be the highlight of the series I hear they quickly reshot Riker suddenly in command of one of the generic Starfleet ships (where starfleet was supposed to be all full of anti-AI types throwing out their whole narrative in the process).

That scene reminded me too much of Kirk and Picard in Generations.

I can’t believe I am going to say this but Riker showing up was way better than Generations. How that can be given the final mission of JTK, that’s how bad Generations was and how much of an opportunity was not just missed but disintegrated with phasers on kill.

I consider it a wasted opportunity as well. They needed to at the very least have Kirk and Picard side by side for if not the bulk of the movie at least over half of it. It was no fun having Kirk just be bookended in. I would have loved to see a full arc with the two of them. Be frustrated with each other at first but learn to see the other’s strengths over the course of the situation they found themselves in.

LeVar Burton seems like a nice guy, but for some reason he never really sold the character of Geordi La Forge for me. I don’t know if it was the scripts, his delivery, or direction he was given to play the character. I hate to say it but La Forge was the weakest role he’s played in his career.

All I got from Geordi was he sighed a lot.

I feel he was written to have a little bit of personal insecurity.

It would be great to see Geordi. But I am afraid they would mess it up. And I would like to see him married to Leah Brahms but they would probably have her played by another actor then have Geordi kill her.

From reading the other comments, if they follow the novels, they have already messed up Geordi.

They really haven’t. The novel shows him being in charge of the ship-building efforts at Utopia Planitia. He does lead the initiative to use androids in construction — but the novel shows that the androids are not sentient like Data. Geordi is not on Mars during the attack, so if the show’s producers decide to follow that storyline he might have some survivor’s guilt. But the folks who suggest that he’s become some sort of monster clearly haven’t read the book.

Here is the slippery slope new trek put themselves on… They clearly showed machines evolving on their own. One might excuse data for this as that machine was programmed to. But none of the others we’ve seen. We have seen machines created for a specific purpose suddenly grow beyond that purpose. It just happened through no outside force of any kind. Nanites, the holographic doctor, etc. So whose to say the synths couldn’t evolve on their own even though they weren’t built to? Why not the Enterprise computer for that matter? As I said… It’s a slippery slope they put themselves on.

Geordi a killer? Unlikely.

Yes, good. Have Geordi rez Hugh. ;)

Why the take from us the element of surprise? Wish they don’t say who will appear next. Same with the opening credits. Is it required?

Some will be a surprise, others won’t, as we saw in this season. The reality is though these shows have to promote and excite people so some will be marketed to get people to watch who may not have been interested before. We’re hardcore fans, we’re going to watch no matter what. Casual fans are the ones these announcements are for (although this was clearly meant to be more of a secret, at least until it was formal most likely) and may convince them to watch if they haven’t already.

Maybe Geordi has finally invented antimatter injectors that don’t freeze up, core ejection systems that work in emergencies rather than fail, and coolant that doesn’t disintegrate the (organic parts of) the crew when it leaks, too!

Even Geordie (or the writers via Geordie) made fun of that stuff when Geordie visited Picard in his vineyard in “All Good Things…”