Ro Laren

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Template:ST Character

Ro Laren is a fictional character on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, portrayed by Michelle Forbes. Ro served aboard the Enterprise-D as an ensign under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard during the 5th-7th years of their mission.

She joined the crew in the fifth season of the series as a troubled young Bajoran officer who had been court-martialled for disobeying orders on an away mission that led to eight deaths. Initially a criminal, Picard gave her a second chance and made her one of his crew. She made friends with several people, including Geordi La Forge and Commander William Riker.

Of Bajoran descent, she had a great dislike for Cardassians. Although Picard had great faith in her, her hatred for the Cardassians won out over her loyalty to him. While on a mission with Commander Riker, she defected to the Maquis, a group that was fighting against the Cardassians.

In the episode "Ensign Ro", she is given her freedom and a pardon in exchange for going on a secret mission to help stop dissident raids to protect a treaty with Cardassia. Her character was introduced in the Next Generation series and designed to help launch the new Deep Space Nine series. Her character did not, in the end, appear on that series, instead being replaced with Major Kira.

In "The Next Phase", Ensign Ro and Geordi apparently die in a transporter accident, but rematerialize aboard the Enterprise and are invisible, saving the ship from cloaked Romulans.

In "Rascals", Ensign Ro and three other crewmembers are transformed into their child selves, while retaining their adult personalities. In their child bodies, they foil a Ferengi plot to sell the captured Enterprise and its crew as slave labor.

In "Preemptive Strike", the newly promoted Lieutenant Ro is asked by Starfleet to infiltrate the rebel Maquis who are undermining the Federation treaty with Cardassia. Laren becomes increasingly sympathetic to the plight of the Maquis and, in the end, joins them.

Ensign Ro also appears in several episodes where she is not a central character:

Forbes passed up two separate opportunities to be in other Star Trek series. The first was with Deep Space Nine. The second was when the next Star Trek series, Voyager, had Maquis characters, one of whom was intended to have been Ro.

The Deep Space Nine continuation novels have made it clear that Ro survived the destruction of the Maquis and led her own anti-Dominion group in the latter days of the Dominion war. Following this, she returned to Bajor where she was given a commission in the militia and assigned to DS9 as Chief of Security. Over the next year, Ro encountered Picard again, who she made peace with, and was instrumental in many of the events occurring in that series. When Bajor joined the Federation, Ro intended to leave her post hastily to escape punishment for her crimes, but was convinced by Picard to accept a pardon and rejoin Starfleet.

Trivia

  • Following the release of Star Trek: Nemesis it was widely rumored on the Internet that Michelle Forbes, as Ro, could be seen sitting behind Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) during the opening wedding sequence. Closer examination of the footage reveals this to be a different actress.

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