Captain Sonia Gomez & Cmdr LaForge

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I just read a book from the The Fall series recently (to remain spoiler free) of a small interaction between LaForge & Gomez.

    Got me to thinking what a stale character LaForge has become. He was basically on the same ship since the series started...yeah the Indistinguished From Magic book had some growth for the guy, but seems that got pushed to the way side.

    Overall I'm neutral toward the character of LaForge...not really a fav and I never disliked the character either. Just seems that Gomez had more character fleshed out (and I never liked here character in the SCE series) -- but she seems to be developed more.

    Without this becoming a drunken rambling....seems when LaForge is written these days you could almost substitue Taurik for LaForge as Laforge has become so bland.

    It didn't seem so obvious to me until the scene of Gomez & LaForge together.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I really don't know how you could say that. If anything, I think LaForge has had significant character growth these last few years. He finally has a relationship going; he's grown professionally; he's been (sort of) reunited with his best friend; he stood up to Picard when Picard was being a lunatic in Destiny; etc. If anything, I'd say Geordi has been given a great deal more depth these last few years than he ever had on the show or in the movies.
     
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sci, I see your point where LaForge has some lines in the story...guess when compared to Worf (on DS9, then Ambassador, then now First Officer, a lot of room for growth.

    Even look at Riker....now Captain of Titan and now the latest with his new role in The Fall books.

    I barely remember that LaForge has a "lady friend" now.

    Guess if you had to take a poll (which I don't know how to do one here, is who is more fleshed out/backstory/dynamic of a character --- LaForge or Ensign to Captain Gomez.

    It just became evident to me when LaForge & Gomez had their nice scene together.
     
  4. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Nathan, it feels a bit like you're equating personal growth of the character to professional advancement. Sure, LaForge became chief engineer in the second season of TNG, and now he's still chief engineer, but it is on a different ship, and it may be by choice. I haven't read Indistinguishable from Magic, but my understanding is he received a promotion, but later asked to be returned to his old job on the Enterprise E.

    To make an analogy to real life: I work in education, and some teachers remain in the classroom for years, never looking to be promoted to principal or superintendent or any other higher position. Often the best teachers find their niche is the classroom, and find sufficient challenge and fulfillment in keeping up with the changes in the education process as well as their own growing abilities as a teacher. I could see starship engineering being a similar sort of experience.

    Also, we have seen other characters stay in the same spot for long periods of time, and then eventually move on. Riker continued to serve as Picard's first officer for years, even though Starfleet tried to promote him several times.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I've liked what the books have been doing with Geordi the last few years. I thought IFM was great, and he's gotten some nice moments in the last few years. Just because he's still Chief Engineer doesn't mean he's not getting attention.
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Guess my beef with LaForge is, I'm OK with him being a Chief Engineer all those years..but never got married, divorced, kid outta wedlock...except for Indistinguishable from Magic, no major changes for LaForge (and I think aren't those changes being sorta dismissed)...yeah, he's had a couple of stories, but at the end the reset button is pressed...guess when he was characterized in Peaceable Kingdoms, you coulda crossed out his name and place some random engineer in his name.

    yeah, he dating someone Medical, but even that is such a snooze fest. It just seems Gomez (who again I don't particular care for either, at least has had some change in her life -- both professional & personally -- whereas LaForge has got minimal treatment when compared to the rest of the cast.

    So yeah
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Geordi's relationship is a snooze fest -- if anything, I think it's interesting to finally see what he's like in a relationship, as he's gone without one for so long. I do, however, think it would be nice to see their relationship get a stronger emphasis in future novels.
     
  8. vegaslover62

    vegaslover62 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    I agree with whomever said that personal development is not defined by career advancement.
     
  9. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Dat my whole point....LaForge hasn't had any personal development (married, kids, lost appendage, etc) he just bascially the same.....And in regards to career advancement, except for Indistinguishable From Magic, he's had no career advancement either.

    Yes, yes, he's had some small scenes with the gal from medical, nothing prominent...my point being Sonia Gomez has been more fleshed out over these past years than Geordi. Most importantly, the scenes LaForge gets, a large part of them, you could cross his name out and insert an "Engineer Du Jour" and you'd have the same effect.

    Valeris was profiled in a books recently, and it seems even she's been more fleshed out than Geordi, just from that book alone....perhaps that is a bit extreme, but if i was a LaForge fan, i'd be annoyed that the character has just aimlessly roamed the hallways of the E-E when compared to other in the bridge crew over these past few years.
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Well, in real life some people also don't have a lot of personal development. Some people just like the way things are. Geordi's circumstances have only really begone to change in the last few years, bookwise. Him dating that woman on Beverly's staff (forget her name), being promoted to Second Officer, things like that. He realized he was ready for something new. It's not like he never thought about it before, it was just never a priority.
     
  11. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^ I believe her name is Tamara Harstad...but i can't find her on memory beta. Hopefully my memory is good enough ;)
     
  12. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did find that scene interesting - the former Ensign Gomez is now senior to the man who mentored her in the first place. It's the same feeling as watching Admiral Riker give orders to Captain Picard. It may make sense for their characters and their personalities and positions, but there's something mildly uncomfortable about someone leap-frogging over someone else in that way. Not that either of them have done anything wrong, but you have to wonder if one or them other of the might feel a bit awkward about it.

    I guess it just jumped out at me because I'm going through the same thing at work myself right now - becoming the manager of someone who taught me how to do the job in the first place. I've been assured not to worry about it - if that person wanted the job and/or deserved it, they would have it. But still, I makes me slightly uncomfortable.

    .
     
  13. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I definitely can relate to Nathan's thoughts about LaForge. This goes back to the series itself with how he was underused. That being said, he at least has a girlfriend now, two if you count Indistinguishable From Magic, brief career advancement, but in comparison to Gomez it feels slight. I only read one book of stories from SCE but I have the sense that Gomez has had better character development and more of a career arc than Geordi, even if she hasn't been as featured in as many books. At this point I wouldn't mind seeing Geordi become a captain or lead one of the SCE teams. It could be a new lease on life for the character.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But is that really the only possible option? Isn't it boring if every single character's arc culminates in becoming a captain? There are other worthwhile accomplishments in life, even in Starfleet. I'm all for finding something interesting to do with Geordi, but at this point, just promoting him to captain of his own ship would not be distinctive enough to be interesting.
     
  15. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Which sums up Geordi in a nutshell.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I would say the same about most any character. "Becoming captain" has been done over and over by now -- there's got to be a fresher idea for advancing a character's arc.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't really see where his rank or role would even need to change if they just found something interesting to do with him personally.
     
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    JD, totally agree with you. Like Chris Benett refers to that there has to be a fresher idea for advancing a character's arc.....dat is the whole point, LaForge really didn't get a arc or advanced in any kinda of development. Well...there is some I suppose, but i think it is sorta marginal when compared to the other main TNG characters.
     
  19. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except for being a scientist or running for president, wouldn't becoming captain of a starship be the ultimate achievement in professional life in the 24th century?

    Admiralty is a demotion from starship life to paper-work job (because Starfleet can't simply have an admiral be CO of a starship for some reason). Sure, personal fulfillment is possible also when one is a lieutenant or so, but the crown of professional achievement in the Federation would be captaincy. The analogy for today's world is a university degree, the preeminent civilian achievement.

    There's also the matter that if one lives long enough one ends up being promoted every couple of years, eventually reaching captaincy by necessity. Riker was offered captaincy repeatedly, and Vaughn remained commander to keep a low-profile. See Gomez and Ro, starting out as lowly ensigns in TNG and now four-pipped.

    Therefore, if one just have to live long enough to accumulate promotions until captaincy, it stands to reason most characters would face that sooner or later. That doesn't mean the circumstances may be the same for everybody (e.g. Dax's field promotion, Chakotay losing and regaining his command) or the personal fallout.

    Or am I seeing something fundamentally wrong?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  20. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    You're sort of answering your question in your first sentence. You talk of scientists or presidents. What about engineers? That's the entire idea here. Geordi WANTS to be an engineer. He is an engineer. He is the Chief Engineer, on one of the most prestigues ships in the fleet. Done, game over. Achievement unlocked. All he wanted after that, was perhaps someone to share his life with. Which he has now. He has only one more thing to accomplish now. Live a good and happy life. Not every seeks the highest job possible. Some people just want to be happy doing what they love.