Michelle Forbes as Star Trek's Ro Laren
Movies - TV
Why Ro Laren’s Return In Star Trek: Picard Was A Tough Sell To Paramount
Ensign Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) only appeared in eight episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but shook up the system and offered metaphorical headbutts to Picard.
She left in 1994 to join the Maquis and to fight the Federation's neglect. This disappointed Picard, who felt she was slowly approaching loyalty to Starfleet.
Ro returned for the "Star Trek: Picard" episode "Imposters" (March 16, 2023). She was back in Starfleet, now a Commander, investigating a potential Changeling infiltration.
In a Collider interview, showrunner Terry Matalas had to push Paramount pretty hard to get Ro back on Trek. It seems they were afraid viewers wouldn't know who she was.
There is a lot of paranoia and mystery in the first part of the third "Picard" season. Matalas wanted a surprise cameo to up the stakes and push a few nostalgic buttons.
Matalas thought Ro's return was perfect, as she was one of the few characters who left Picard on a sour note. He knew he needed Forbes and production on board, and he got it.