Ro Laren was, and remains, one of the most engaging secondary characters in Star Trek history. Her recent return to the franchise in Star Trek: Picard finally closed the cover on her story, though there is simply so much to discuss in the history of the show's first Bajoran.
She was the archetype for an entire people, and the template for one of the most popular characters on Deep Space Nine . Her story was used to set up the then-upcoming Star Trek: Voyager, even though she never appeared on either show.
Her number of appearances are actually quite low when one counts them against other secondary characters across the franchise, though its safe to say that Ro Laren made one hell of an impact with a very restricted amount of screen-time. From a character who was brought in the stir up the pot, to one who reveals a grand conspiracy within the walls of the mighty Federation, Ensign, then Commander, Ro Laren is one of the strongest examples of a powerful character across the franchise, played to perfection by Michelle Forbes.
10. She Was Introduced To Replace Wesley Crusher
Everyone's favourite Ensign announced his departure in the show's fourth season, which left a noticeable void on the bridge of the Enterprise-D. There began something of a rotating roster of replacements, with Ensign Rager popping up sporadically until the show's finale.
Behind the scenes, Berman and Piller were interested in creating a new character, specifically a female one, who could challenge Gene Roddenberry's ideal of the utopian, perfect future. This would help them stand out, arriving in the fifth season of a highly established show.
There would be a significant difference between this new pilot and the departing Wil Wheaton - there was no pre-established relationship to anchor the new character. This meant that whomever was cast would have to quickly make a statement of intent, then burn it into the audience's mind.
Ro's first scene features her immediately at odds with Commander Riker, who at that stage was among the most popular characters on the show. A new face showing disdain for the most famous beard in Star Trek ? That was something sure to illicit a response.