(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Geordi La Forge was a Human male Starfleet officer who originally was the helmsman of the USS Enterprise-D during 2364, with the rank of lieutenant junior grade. He was promoted to lieutenant and later lieutenant commander and became the chief engineer of the Enterprise-D and later USS Enterprise-E, both under Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Where No One Has Gone Before", "The Child", "Evolution", "Booby Trap"; Star Trek: First Contact)
Geordi La Forge was born on February 16, 2335 in Mogadishu, Somalia to parents Captain Silva La Forge and noted exozoologist Commander Edward M. La Forge. Due to a birth defect, he was born blind. As an adult, he stood 170 centimeters (appr. 5'7") tall and was right-handed. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Masterpiece Society", "Cause and Effect", "Identity Crisis", "Ship in a Bottle")
When he was five years old, Geordi received his first VISOR, which allowed him to see (although not the same way the average Human does) for the first time in his life. (TNG: "Hero Worship") At age eight, Geordi was brought his first pet, a Circassian cat, and he remembered his excitement for years to come. (TNG: "Violations")
Young Geordi spent time with both his parents as a child, sometimes separately. For a time, Geordi lived with his father, Edward, while Edward studied invertebrates in the Modean system. On other occasions, Geordi was away from his father, on outposts near the Romulan Neutral Zone with his mother, Silva. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend")
Early Starfleet career
He attended Starfleet Academy from 2353 to 2357, where he excelled at engineering and idolized Zefram Cochrane. (Star Trek: First Contact) Among his reading during the Academy, La Forge read about the USS Stargazer. (TNG: "The Battle")
La Forge graduated with a Starfleet specialty in antimatter power and dilithium regulators. His first deep-space assignment was as an ensign aboard the USS Victory under Captain Zimbata. (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data") In 2362, La Forge participated in the investigation of the disappearance of the Federation colony on Tarchannen III. (TNG: "Identity Crisis")
La Forge later transferred to the USS Hood, where he served under Captain Robert DeSoto. On the Hood, La Forge knew William T. Riker, but only professionally. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") Riker knew La Forge the longest of all of their shipmates aboard the Enterprise, and the two developed a close friendship during their later years together at that assignment. (TNG: "The Next Phase")
At one point in his career as a young officer, La Forge was assigned to pilot Jean-Luc Picard on an inspection tour. En route to their destination, Picard made an off-hand remark about the shuttle's engine efficiency not being what it should be. In response to this, La Forge stayed up all night refitting the shuttle's fusion initiators. When Picard discovered what La Forge had done the following morning, he knew immediately that he wanted La Forge with him on his next command. (TNG: "The Next Phase")
Aboard the Starships Enterprise
While investigating the deaths of the SS Tsiolkovsky crew, La Forge contracted a variant of polywater intoxication, causing him to lose his inhibitions. Dr. Beverly Crusher used La Forge to test her vaccines and was able to develop a cure. (TNG: "The Naked Now")
The first test of his ability as a starship commander came during an encounter with an advanced planetary defense system in orbit around the planet Minos. With the senior officers' away teams entrenched at the planet's surface, La Forge gave the order to send the Enterprise's saucer section to safety and then returned to Minos with the stardrive section to work out a way of evacuating the away teams. While battling a cloaked drone in orbit, he devised a strategy to lure the opponent into the planet's atmosphere, thus revealing its location. In this tense situation, he proved that he had the ability to successfully lead a skeleton crew to victory. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom")
His special vision was impressively demonstrated during an away mission to the drifting freighter Batris. The VISOR data was directly transmitted to the Enterprise-D's main bridge viewscreen via his visual acuity transmitter, allowing the bridge crew to gain an insight into Geordi's view of the world and to follow the progress of the mission until the datalink failed. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")
In 2365, La Forge was promoted to full lieutenant. He transferred from the command division to the operations division and was named chief engineer. Over the course of the next several years, it became evident that this transfer had been a wise decision. His technical and analytical abilities, his versatility, and his cooperative leadership style were very well suited to the requirements of a senior engineering officer aboard a major starship. Just one year later, in 2366, he was promoted to lieutenant commander. (TNG: "The Child", "Hollow Pursuits", "Evolution")
An especially demanding situation arose in 2365, after the ship's main computer had been infected by an Iconian computer virus by way of the log files of the USS Yamato. Those files were the only useful item that remained of this Galaxy-class starship after a catastrophic loss of antimatter containment had caused it to explode with the loss of all hands. La Forge was eventually able to disprove suspicions of a general design flaw in Galaxy-class starships which had arisen when the alien program caused more and more shipboard systems to fail. Working with Lieutenant Commander Data, whose positronic brain had been infected as well, he found the solution to the problem in time to save the Enterprise-D from seemingly inevitable destruction. (TNG: "Contagion")
Geordi learned about one particular disadvantage of following in the footsteps of Starfleet's legendary engineers when members of a race known as the Pakled took him hostage, hoping to gain technological knowledge. Although injured, he successfully devised an escape method without further bloodshed. (TNG: "Samaritan Snare")
La Forge used a hologram of Dr. Leah Brahms, the engineer who designed the Galaxy-class, after the Enterprise was ensnared in a Menthar booby trap. He and the hologram Brahms worked extremely well together and figured out an escape route for the Enterprise. In the process, Geordi became strongly attracted to Brahms. (TNG: "Booby Trap", "Galaxy's Child")
Later that year, Geordi was trapped on a desolate planet with a Romulan. He and the Romulan at first tried to kill each other, but soon resolved their differences and worked together to survive. (TNG: "The Enemy")
In 2367, he met the real Leah Brahms. La Forge was ecstatic at the chance to meet her, even if on a solely professional level, but he was in for a surprise. Whereas the hologram Geordi had assembled was kind, creative, and warm, the real Brahms was rude and, much to Geordi's chagrin, married. They worked together to solve a problem on board, but Dr. Brahms found out about the holoprogram and became infuriated. They were eventually able to laugh about it, but a romantic future for the two seemed unlikely. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")
He met an old friend named Susanna Leijten whom he had served with aboard the Victory. She told La Forge that several of their crewmates, with whom they had formed an Away team to Tarchannen III, had disappeared. Shortly afterward Leijten started to transform into an alien being. La Forge too became infected, but before he was transformed into an alien, he discovered that shadow aliens on the planet had implanted a parasite into the away team members that turned them into the aliens. This was how they reproduced. La Forge was rescued and given an antidote that stopped the transformation. (TNG: "Identity Crisis")
At the end of 2367, La Forge was captured by the Romulans, who brainwashed him into assassinating the Klingon Governor Vagh. Klingon ambassador Kell worked with the Romulans from the inside. By tracing Kell's signal to La Forge's visor, they were able to stop the assassination attempt. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")
When the Enterprise was hit by a quantum filament that caused massive power failure throughout the ship, La Forge and Dr. Crusher were trapped in a cargo bay with dangerous explosive materials. They daringly decompressed the bay while they were still in it, to jettison the materials into space. (TNG: "Disaster")
He worked with the scientists on Penthara IV after the planet's mantle was damaged by an asteroid hit. His first plan failed, but a new one more risky than the first worked and the planet was saved. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")
Later that year, the Enterprise discovered an injured Borg drone in the Argolis Cluster. La Forge helped to repair the drone and in the process made friends with him, naming him "Hugh". Starfleet initially planned to use Hugh to infect the Borg Collective, but Hugh's emotions, including those he felt towards his friend Geordi, prevented this plan. La Forge asked Hugh to remain onboard, but he declined in order to ensure the safety of the Enterprise. (TNG: "I Borg")
After answering a distress call from a Romulan ship, La Forge and Ro Laren disappeared during a transporter cycle. They could see each other and everything around them, but no one was aware of them, and they were presumed dead. They discovered that the Romulan distress call was related to an accident with their cloaking device, and decloaked themselves by creating enough chroniton fields to force Data to use Anyon particles to decontaminate the fields, which also rematerialized La Forge and Ro. (TNG: "The Next Phase")
In 2369, La Forge, along with the rest of the Enterprise principal crew, traveled back to 19th century Earth to save Data. In the process, Geordi encountered Samuel Clemens. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II")
One of Geordi's dreams came true later that year, when the Enterprise answered a distress call sent out by the USS Jenolan. He discovered that the ship's transporters were configured in a strange manner, and was able to rematerialize someone. That someone turned out to be Montgomery Scott, the Chief Engineer from the original USS Enterprise. Scott had preserved himself in the transporter buffer for 75 years. Geordi was initially overjoyed to be working with such a legend, but Scotty's constant nitpicking about 24th century technology led Geordi to snap at him. This plunged Scott into a brief depression. Geordi eventually consoled him, pointing out that age does not dictate usefulness, and the two worked together to save the Enterprise. (TNG: "Relics")
Later that year, he became romantically involved with fellow Starfleet officer Aquiel Uhnari, who was suspected of murdering her coworker. He eventually proved that the murderer was a coalescent organism. (TNG: "Aquiel")
In 2370, he was captured by Lore, who was leading a group of rogue Borg, who had left the collective due to the individuality Hugh displayed, which Geordi helped to foster, in attacks against the Federation. Lore brainwashed Data into attempting to turn La Forge into a cybernetic organism. This plot was narrowly foiled. (TNG: "Descent, Part II")
Later that year Geordi's mother, Silva, was listed as missing in action during a mission. Upon further investigation, Geordi found that her image was being used by aliens to lure him into helping them. (TNG: "Interface")
He helped to prove that the Hekarans Serova and Rabal were correctly asserting that warp drive was damaging the fabric of space, which was instrumental in creating the warp 5 "speed limit". (TNG: "Force of Nature")
In 2371, while on an away team investigating the Amargosa observatory with Lieutenant Commander Data, Geordi was knocked unconscious by Tolian Soran. Soran then kidnapped Geordi and escaped aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. The Klingons traded him for Captain Picard. They put a spy device in Geordi's VISOR and used it to obtain the Enterprise's shield frequency. The device was removed after the destruction of the Klingon ship, but unfortunately the damage suffered from the Klingons caused a coolant leak which he was unable to fix. This meant a warp core breach was imminent and also meant the inevitable destruction of the Enterprise. (Star Trek Generations)
Some time between 2371 and 2373, he received ocular implants capable of even more impressive functions than his VISOR. This advanced technology no longer required an external apparatus to see.
In 2373, the Borg attacked the Federation colony on Ivor Prime. The Enterprise was told to patrol the neutral zone; Geordi argued that the Enterprise-E was the most advanced ship in the fleet, and should therefore be at the front lines. After Geordi made his case, Captain Picard decided to head to the battle. After destroying the Borg cube, the Enterprise followed the Borg sphere that had left the cube into a temporal vortex it had opened in Earth's atmosphere.
Geordi, along with the entire crew of the Enterprise-E, was transported to 2063. He and an engineering team beamed down to help repair the Phoenix, and La Forge got to work with his hero, Zefram Cochrane. He told Cochrane about his attendance at a high school named after him and a large marble statue erected in his honor. This rattled Cochrane, but he pulled together and made first contact as planned. The Enterprise then returned to the 24th century. (Star Trek: First Contact)
In 2375, while investigating an incident involving Data on the Ba'ku planet, La Forge was able to temporarily see naturally through real eyes as a result of the metaphasic radiation emanating from the planet's rings. Despite this apparent gift, he, along with the rest of the senior staff, still assisted Captain Picard in working against the Federation's plans to exploit the planet, insisting that he would be unable to look at another sunrise when he was fully aware of the price that the Ba'ku would have to pay for his restored vision; in doing so, he was able to convince a reluctant Picard to accept the crew's help in saving the Ba'ku. (Star Trek: Insurrection)
In 2379, Geordi took part in the Enterprise's mission to Romulus. After a fierce battle with the Scimitar, he helped his best friend Data in his task of self-sacrifice to save the Enterprise crew. (Star Trek Nemesis)
- Main article: VISOR
La Forge, who was born blind, often wore a VISOR, a crescent-moon-shaped device attached at the temples that allowed him to see. It enabled him to "see" throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, from heat and infrared through light and radio waves. With the cybernetic technology connected directly to his brain, it required such a complex and broad-based input that the user had to concentrate to focus on one area. Eventually, he received ocular implants with electric blue irises and even more abilities. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Masterpiece Society", "Hero Worship", "Heart of Glory"; Star Trek: First Contact)
Engineering interests, talents, and specialties
La Forge had a great talent for engineering and a keen judgment for needed modifications in the field; his faith in technology and his ability to master it were normally an inspiration to those around him. As a junior officer, his specialties included antimatter power, dilithium regulators, holodeck programs, and climate-control computers. His intense focus enabled him to master the complexities of warp engineering and other starship systems. Geordi's all-night refit of a shuttle engine after an off-hand comment by Jean-Luc Picard garnered the attention of the captain, as it was a testament to his no-nonsense skill and insight. (TNG: "The Last Outpost", "Elementary, Dear Data", "Homeward", "Sub Rosa", "The Next Phase")
During the 2369 visit to Deep Space 9, Geordi wished to shop on the station's Promenade, where he wanted to take a look a number of Ktarian antiques on display, including a rumored 21st century plasma coil that was in perfect condition. (TNG: "Birthright, Part I")
In 2063, La Forge helped his idol Dr. Zefram Cochrane, Human scientist, eccentric genius, and inventor of the warp drive, to launch his warp test vessel Phoenix in order to make the historic initial meeting with the Vulcans. (Star Trek: First Contact) Similarly, when a transporter loop allowed Geordi to come into contact with the near-mythic engineer Montgomery Scott in 2369, the two joined forces to free the Enterprise from a Dyson sphere's interior. (TNG: "Relics")
The major childhood trauma of being alone in his burning home caused him great distress, though he was pulled to safety after only two minutes. His isolation from his field-assigned officer parents amplified his feelings of solitude. (TNG: "Hero Worship")
Despite this, his outstanding characteristic was his adaptability to change and satisfaction with life. His sense of humor and affable nature remained strong, despite his growing responsibilities. (TNG: "The Child", "Code of Honor", "The Masterpiece Society", "Relics")
He enjoyed the senior officer's weekly poker game, and though his artificial "eyes" allowed him to detect bluffing and see his opponents' cards in the ultraviolet spectrum, he never "peeked" until a hand was over. (TNG: "Ethics")
He also delighted in scale model building of old sailing ships, chess, swimming, skindiving, the history of his profession, and fencing. He was not well suited for writing or the mandolin, despite a preference for guitar music. He liked iced tea and pasta, such as fungilli. Due to his nomadic upbringing, he was adept at various languages including Haliian. (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data", "The Loss", "Booby Trap", "Relics", "Aquiel")
La Forge always tried to be on friendly terms with everyone around him, yet he only seemed completely at ease in company of his closest friend, Data. The two of them often role-played in holodeck simulations of Sherlock Holmes stories, in which Data assumed the role of Holmes and La Forge was Dr. Watson. (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data", "Ship in a Bottle")
Geordi was also close friends with Miles O'Brien and Susanna Leijten. Possibly because of his own tendencies to retreat to fictitious settings, Geordi became friends with the extremely shy and nervous genius Reginald Barclay, trying to keep him in reality. (TNG: "Data's Day", "Identity Crisis", "Hollow Pursuits", "The Nth Degree") Geordi also forged an unlikely bond with fellow Enterprise Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott after rescuing him from the crashed USS Jenolan. (TNG: "Relics")
Geordi was slightly insecure concerning dating and women, though he had significant relationships with Christy Henshaw, Lt. Aquiel Uhnari, and Dr. Leah Brahms. He may have also harbored a slight romantic attraction to his crewmate Natasha Yar. (TNG: "Booby Trap", "Transfigurations", "Aquiel", "The Naked Now", "Hide and Q")
Self-conscious and slightly nervous, it took him considerable effort to get in contact with potential female partners. This apparently contributed to his falling in love with two women's holographic audiovisual representations when it appeared that he would never get to meet them in person. (TNG: "Booby Trap", "Hollow Pursuits", "Galaxy's Child")
Efforts to date Enterprise-D crewmate Christy Henshaw were initially unsuccessful, although she became much more interested in him after an encounter with the Zalkonian known as John Doe left him feeling much more confident. (TNG: "Booby Trap", "Transfigurations")
Leah Brahms (hologram)
Working with a holographic representation of engineer Leah Brahms, a key member of the Galaxy-class Starship Development Project and, in a way, the mother of the Enterprise's warp propulsion system, La Forge fell in love with her. Despite this attraction, he later noted that he still knew when it was time to turn off the holodeck and say goodbye.
Upon meeting the real, married Dr. Brahms one year later, in 2367, things were anything but rosy; after discovering the holoprogram, she resented his usage of her image and accused him of exploiting her. Both had to work hard to find a way of cooperating, but eventually they became friends. (TNG: "Booby Trap", "Hollow Pursuits", "Galaxy's Child")
Investigating the supposed death of one and disappearance of another officer at a remote subspace relay station in 2369, Geordi reviewed the personal correspondence of the suspected victim, Lieutenant Aquiel Uhnari. In the process, he came to know and like her so much that upon her unexpected apprehension, they formed a short relationship. (TNG: "Aquiel")
Alternate realities and timelines
In an alternate timeline created when the Enterprise-C accidentally traveled to the future, La Forge had been fighting in a war with the Klingons for the duration of his Starfleet career. He was still Chief Engineer, but was a lieutenant for reasons unknown. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
In two alternate quantum realities, La Forge was killed in 2370. In one of them, he died during an attack on the Enterprise-D by a Cardassian Galor-class battle cruiser. (TNG: "Parallels") Later that year, in an alternate timeline, La Forge's optic nerves regenerated due to the anti-time particles emanating from a temporal anomaly, restoring his vision. (TNG: "All Good Things...")
In another alternate timeline, La Forge had been promoted to the rank of captain by 2390 and was in command of the Galaxy-class USS Challenger. In that year, he pursued Chakotay, Harry Kim, Tessa Omond and The Doctor in a stolen Delta Flyer to the Takara sector in an attempt to stop them from changing history by preventing the destruction of the USS Voyager fifteen years earlier. (VOY: "Timeless")
In an alternate future, around 2395, Geordi had retired from Starfleet to become a novelist and was married to someone named Leah (possibly Leah Brahms). The couple were living on Rigel III and had three children, Alandra, Bret and Sidney. Leah became the director of the Daystrom Institute as well as quite a gardener. (TNG: "All Good Things...")
Geordi La Forge was holographically duplicated on a number of occasions.
- In 2366, as part of the investigation into the destruction of the Tanuga IV research station, copies of Geordi were created based on the depositions given by the witness in the programs Deposition Program Riker One and Manua Simulation One. (TNG: "A Matter of Perspective")
- As part of Reginald Barclay's holo-addiction, he created at least two programs that had representations of Geordi. One was a recreation of the USS Enterprise-D; the other, Barclay Program 15, had Geordi as one of The Three Musketeers. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")
- Barash recreated the entire command crew of the Enterprise-D in 2367 on Alpha Onias III to keep Commander Riker there, creating an illusion of the Enterprise crew sixteen years in the future. The La Forge hologram appeared without his VISOR – apparently the result of improved medical technology restoring his eyes – but Riker deduced that the simulation wasn't real when La Forge took too long to conduct basic repairs on the Enterprise (really the result of Barash having trouble creating a completely convincing simulation), informing La Forge that he was "incapable of that level of incompetence." (TNG: "Future Imperfect")
- Later that year, La Forge created a holoprogram based on the reports of the Tarchannen III outpost's investigation in 2362 by an away team of the USS Victory, including himself. (TNG: "Identity Crisis")
- The James Moriarty hologram recreated the entire Enterprise-D in 2369 as part of a ploy to escape the holodeck. Data finally realized the trap laid by Moriarty and revealed it to Captain Picard when they were both in the holographic engineering. Data tossed a tool to "La Forge" who caught it with his left hand, although he was actually right-handed. Data recognized this as one of the holodeck's initial malfunctions and used the visual lesson to show Picard that they were on the holodeck. (TNG: "Ship in a Bottle")
- When Deanna Troi took Riker's version of the Bridge Officer's Test in 2370, it contained a recreation of La Forge. In order to pass the test, Deanna needed to know that on some occasions she might be required to order one of her officers to sacrifice himself for the good of the ship. During an antimatter leak simulation, Deanna ordered the La Forge recreation to repair the leak at the cost of his own life. (TNG: "Thine Own Self")
- Born in African Confederation, Earth.
- Receives his first VISOR.
- Admitted to Starfleet Academy.
- Graduates Starfleet Academy, assigned to USS Victory.
- Assigned to USS Hood under Captain DeSoto.
- Assigned to USS Enterprise-D as helmsman.
- Promoted to lieutenant and chief engineer.
- Promoted to lieutenant commander.
- Receives word that his mother, Captain Silva La Forge of the USS Hera, has died.
- The USS Enterprise-D is destroyed over Veridian III. (Star Trek Generations)
- Assigned to the USS Enterprise-E.
- Travels back in time to 2063 in order to defeat an attempt by the Borg to create an alternate timeline in which the Federation is never created. (Star Trek: First Contact)
- Assists in Picard's rebellion against Starfleet Admiral Dougherty in order to protect the Ba'ku; La Forge's eyes temporarily regain sight because of the Ba'ku planet's effects. (Star Trek: Insurrection)
- Attends the wedding of William Riker and Deanna Troi. Participates in Battle in the Bassen Rift. (Star Trek Nemesis)
|Chief engineers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Tucker • Kelby|
|USS Enterprise:||Louvier • Scott|
|USS Enterprise-D:||MacDougal • Argyle • Logan • Lynch • La Forge|
|USS Enterprise-E:||La Forge|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Tucker|
|ISS Enterprise NCC-1701:||Scott|
|USS Enterprise:||Olson • Scott • Chekov|
Geordi La Forge appears in 172 of the 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Thus, only the six episodes he does not appear in are listed here for brevity.
The creation of the character began when Gene Roddenberry proposed having a disabled crewmember aboard the Enterprise. David Gerrold subsequently wrote a memo which listed various disabilities, from which Roddenberry selected blindness. Gerrold ultimately disapproved of how little of La Forge's face was usually visible due to wearing a VISOR. (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, pp. 98 & 99)
This character and all other La Forges were named for the late quadriplegic Star Trek fan George La Forge. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 256); Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 15; The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 99, -laforge FindAGrave listing for George T. LaForge, Jr.) After having helped select blindness as the character's disability, it was David Gerrold who suggested naming the character after George La Forge. "Gene thought that was a terrific idea," Gerrold noted. (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 99) In the documentary "Trekkies", however, Jonathan Frakes states that the fan's name was "Jordan".
After David Gerrold proposed the character should be named after George La Forge, it was also Gerrold who thought up the idea that Geordi La Forge be a black man. "I suggested that we didn't have any black people on the ship in terms of our regular characters," Gerrold reflected, "and in keeping with the ethnic character of the show, and if neither the captain or the first officer were black, then it was perhaps Geordi who should be black." (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 99)
The original Writers/Directors Guide for TNG, dated 23 March 1987, had La Forge with somewhat different interests and talents than in the actual series. He wasn't listed as the helmsman or even a bridge officer, instead being simply an "away mission regular". His "specialty" aboard the Enterprise was the "starship school for children". The guide also stated that there was a plan to visit a planet where Geordi would receive the equivalent of Human eyes, "and their limitations lead to the major disappointment of his young life." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers'/Directors' Guide, pp. 7 & 31)
Aside from LeVar Burton, other contenders who the preproduction staff considered casting as La Forge included Reggie Jackson, Tim Russ, Wesley Snipes, Victor Love, Chip McAllister, Clarence Gilyard, Jr., and Kevin Peter Hall. As of 13 April 1987, all those performers were being considered for the part, with Reggie Jackson appearing to be the favorite option.  According to Rick Berman in an interview in the 1995 special Star Trek: Voyager - Inside the New Adventure, Tim Russ auditioned for the role and almost got it, but was beaten by Burton. (Russ later won the regular role of Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager.)
It was Robert Justman who ensured LeVar Burton's audition, the two having worked together (on television movie Emergency Room) in the past. Burton himself later remarked, "Star Trek certainly represented an opportunity to do good work. I like Geordi for a lot of reasons. First of all, his energetic attitude is much more loose than that of a lot of other characters. He has a sort of cynical sense of humor, and I like that about him. I liked the opportunity to play a character who is handicapped, yet that handicap has been turned into a plus for him, and there are all the emotional issues that go along with that." (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 98)
Geordi has held more ranks on screen than any other Star Trek character: he was an ensign in a flashback in TNG: "Identity Crisis", a lieutenant junior grade in TNG Season 1, a full lieutenant in TNG Season 2, a lieutenant commander in TNG Seasons 3 through 7 and the four Next Generation feature films, a commander in the illusory future of TNG: "Future Imperfect", and a captain in an alternate timeline in VOY: "Timeless". (For further information on who has held the most ranks on screen, see also Nog.)
Geordi La Forge appeared in the first draft script of VOY: "Death Wish", though his part in the episode was rewritten to feature William T. Riker instead. Jonathan Frakes once explained that the reason La Forge was written out of the script was that LeVar Burton's head had recently been shaved and Burton, therefore, didn't look much like how audiences were used to seeing La Forge look. (TV Guide, 17-23 Feb.) His cameo in VOY: "Timeless" was after audiences had already seen the changes in Burton's appearance in Star Trek: First Contact.
Geordi La Forge was also originally to have been referenced in VOY: "Flashback". In the first draft of that episode's script, Kathryn Janeway critiqued, "You read the diaries of Geordi La Forge and what he saw on the Enterprise-D... and you realize that only some things have changed [since the 22nd and 23rd centuries, compared to the 24th century]." All mention of La Forge was excised from the episode by the time the final draft of the script was issued.
In 1999, Geordi and his VISOR influenced the creation of an optical viewing device that was developed based on NASA technology to help the visually impaired see and read and was named JORDY (Joint Optical Reflective Display) after the chracter. 
The comic book series Star Trek: Countdown, a tie-in to the 2009 Star Trek film, depicts Geordi as having left Starfleet by 2387 to design starships, including the Jellyfish, which is given to Spock prior to his confrontation with Nero. It is also established that Geordi was originally going to pilot the Jellyfish, but Spock convinced him otherwise as the mission the stop the Hobus supernova was a one-way trip and Geordi is still a young man, while Spock was reaching the end of his adventures. Spock also felt obliged to carry the mission out to the end, as it was he who first warned of the star's danger and who failed to predict when it would go nova. Having the modifications to the Jellyfish completed and the vessel ready for its mission into the Hobus star, Geordi informs Spock that the ship's controls are encrypted and will only respond to his voice. He then accompanies Captain Data and Ambassador Picard onboard the Enterprise-E as they go to assist Worf in his battle against Nero.
The novel Losing the Peace by William Leisner establishes Geordi's home town as Mogadishu, Somalia, part of the African Confederation and a thriving 24th century city. This was later included in La Forge's biographical data seen in the remastered version of "Cause and Effect".
The computer game Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Transinium Challenge establishes that Geordi's blindness was caused by an "incurable optical nerve defect."
The novel Ghost Ship establishes Geordi was one of the few individuals who was able to successfully function with a VISOR as the VISOR was a very taxing prosthetic to wear because of the amount of energy it used and the painfully large amount of information it sent to the Human brain.
In The Path to 2409 from Star Trek Online, Geordi reentered Starfleet in 2397 and became the captain of the USS Challenger. He is played by TNG actor LeVar Burton first appearing in the mission "Beyond the Nexus", aiding the player in investigating the anomaly of the same name. He later appears helping establish a colony of Lukari and Kentari who are attempting to live together on a new world after being separated for centuries. He then helps the player repel a Tzenkethi attack on the colony, and later another Tzenkethi attack on Bajor, as well as joining the player in debriefing a Tzenkethi defector seeking asylum with the Alpha Quadrant Alliance.
In the Genesis Wave series, set in 2377, Geordi La Forge admits his love for Leah Brahms, but assures her that he expects nothing in return. La Forge only asks her to meet him at an engineering conference in a few months' time, and she agrees.
In the novel Indistinguishable from Magic set in 2384, La Forge served in a temporary detached role of operations and second officer aboard the USS Challenger under Captain Montgomery Scott. Their assignment was to investigate a phenomenon described as trans-slipstream drive. He was reunited with Dr. Brahms, who served the Challenger as a civilian specialist. Their reunion was awkward at first, but after Geordi was nearly killed in a battle with the former Ferengi DaiMon Bok, they began a romantic relationship. Scotty was badly injured and his first officer killed in the battle. Unable to meet Starfleet fitness requirements for service any longer, Scotty retired to become a civilian specialist like Dr. Brahms and recommended that Geordi be promoted to captain and take command of the Challenger. His first mission as captain was to continue investigating the trans-slipstream phenomenon. During their search, the Challenger was thrown outside the galaxy (along with a Romulan ship), where they found a spatial anomaly surrounding the remains of the Hera. They investigated the site, rescued the surviving Hera crew and learned that Geordi's mother died in a rockslide some time ago. The Challenger was destroyed in the process of getting the Starfleet crews and the Romulans home, and Tal Shiar chairwoman Sela returned the Starfleet officers to the Enterprise rather than hold them captive. When he returned to the Enterprise-E, Captain Picard named La Forge to the role of Captain of Engineering based on the precedent set by Scott in the same role aboard the USS Excelsior and the USS Enterprise-A. Dr. Brahms decides to stay with Geordi and moves in with him on the Enterprise.
The storyline in the Star Trek: Countdown comic indicates that La Forge and Brahms were married by 2387.
The eBook The Insolence of Office states that La Forge was ordered to have his VISOR replaced with ocular implants by Admiral Hayes or be reassigned to a less sensitive post. This was due to the Romulans manipulating La Forge through his VISOR in "The Mind's Eye" as well as the VISOR being used by the Duras sisters in their attack on the USS Enterprise-D in Star Trek Generations, which resulted in the destruction of the Enterprise.
In the thirtieth issue of the Star Trek: Ongoing series set in the alternate reality, Geordi appears when an anomaly called a "quantum storm" causes the crew of the USS Enterprise to meet gender-swapped versions of themselves and the quantum storm starts pulling in Enterprise crewmembers from infinite realities, with Geordi being pulled in and appearing next to the female version of Montgomery Scott.
In the first issue of the prequel comic Star Trek: Picard - Countdown, Geordi is overseeing the construction of the evacuation fleet at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in 2385 before he is informed of a call from the USS Verity. After being told that the first wave of ships is ahead of schedule and could be in Romulan space within the month, La Forge takes the call, being greeted by Admiral Picard. Once Picard is informed of Starfleet's progress in constructing the escape ships, both he and Geordi express their dissatisfaction that even with the impending supernova, the Romulans still adhere to secrecy.