Lieutenant Robin Lefler.
Operations Officer of the Starship Excalibur under the command of Captain Mackenzie Calhoun.
Robin Lefler was born in 2345, and was the only child of
two Starfleet plasma specialists who were very involved with their work. She traveled a
great deal as a child and made few friends her own age. She would later recall thinking
of her tricorder as her first friend. ("The Game" [TNG]).
Growing up a Starfleet brat, Robin never questioned that one day she too would wear the uniform.
Robin entered the Academy in 2363 with very high entrance scores.
She excelled in engineering, especially advanced warp field dynamics
and plasma containment theory. Always scoring high marks, Robin found her real challenge
at the Academy was learning to interact with others on a social level.
She was well liked, but had no close friends, instead choosing to concentrate on her studies.
She graduated from the Academy in 2367 in the top 2% of her class and as such she was entitled
to her choice of starship assignments. From her studies in Starfleet history, that choice
was easy: the Enterprise
She immediately reported aboard the Galaxy-class
U.S.S. Enterprise-D as a junior member of the engineering staff. In 2368 she helped
Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge modify the transporter system while Captain Picard was
trapped on the surface of planet El-Adrel IV. ("Darmok" [TNG]).
Ensign Lefler was promoted to mission specialist a few months later and worked on optimizing
sensor usage for a survey of the previously uncharted Phoenix cluster.
Lefler befriended Wesley Crusher, who visited the Enterprise-D during that mission, and the
two became best friends. There was even some romance between the two. Crusher and Lefler were
instrumental in helping the crew repel an attempted takeover of the ship by Ktarian operative Etana Jol.
("The Game" [TNG]).
In 2370 Lefler was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and shortly thereafter
transferred from the Enterprise to the Jupiter Station Research and Development Center in orbit around
the fifth planet in Earth's solar system. Lefler enjoyed her stint at Starfleet R & D, but in mid 2371 she
put a request in for transfer back to space duty because in her words, "that was where the real challenges are."
Her transfer came through and Robin reported aboard the U.S.S. Excalibur under the command of Captain
Morgan Korsmo as warp plasma specialist.
In 2372 Lefler was promoted to full Lieutenant. She enjoyed working with the
Excalibur's assistant chief engineer Lieutenant Burgoyne 172, because as far as people skills went she
and Burgoyne were opposites. Even though Lefler learned much about interpersonal skills by observing the
gregarious Burgoyne, she still remained quite ill-at-ease in social settings.
In late 2373, the Starship Excalibur was recalled to Earth after
reports indicated that a Borg vessel was heading towards Sector 001. The Excalibur joined
Admiral Hayes' task force which engaged the Borg vessel at Earth. In the encounter several Starfleet ships
were destroyed or seriously damaged. In a series of maneuvers designed to lure the Borg ship away from Earth,
the Excalibur was caught and severely damaged by a Borg cutting beam. The Sovereign-class
U.S.S. Enterprise-E, commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, arrived and led the remains of the
fleet to victory, but not before several members of the U.S.S. Excalibur crew were killed. Among those dead
were Captain Korsmo.
After the battle with the Borg at Earth, the U.S.S. Excalibur was sent
to drydock for repairs, and most of the crew were reassigned. Lieutenant Robin Lefler was recommended for a
commendation by Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne, and she was subsequently assigned to the post of Operations Officer,
replacing Ensign Daniel Byrd who was killed in the Borg encounter. Although the Ops position posed new challenges,
Lefler would have preferred to stay in Engineering, at least a little while longer, before having to serve on
the very visible bridge.
Robin Lefler is among the most imaginative, intelligent, professional and
optimistic of Starfleet officers. She is not very adept at dealing with people, but she is always very well liked.
She is exceptionally good at her job and frequently puts in many extra hours. Despite her superb performance,
Lefler often downplays her own contribution and never seeks recognition for the extra effort she always
provides. She has a very keen sense of humor and often peppers her remarks with wry comments that are not always
welcomed by those around her. Years ago she began keeping a collection of colloquialisms that she called Lefler's
Laws, which were her way of remembering essential information. By 2373 she had come up with 125 such nuggets.
Selected Examples of Lefler's Laws:
Law #17: "When all else fails, do it yourself."
Law #32: "If life hands you lemonade, don't try to make lemons out of it."
Law #36: "You gotta go with what works."
Law #46: "Life isn't always fair."
Law #52: "Never underestimate a man's ability to make you laugh."
Law #83: "Whenever you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,
however improbale, must be the truth."
Law #91: "Always watch your back"
Law #103: "A couple of light years can't keep good friends apart."
Law #108: "It's not over until it's over, and sometimes not even then."
Law #125: "Getting information out of Zak Kebron is like interrogating a statue."
As Operations Officer aboard the U.S.S. Excalibur, Lieutenant Lefler's
primary post is at the Ops console on the main bridge. Aboard Starfleet vessels the Operations Officer is in
charge of communications, sensors, environmental systems and hangar deck operations. This duty assignment is
tasked with conducting all forms of sensor sweeps including planetary reconnaissance scans. The Ops Officer
often must coordinate directly with the Chief Engineer to ensure that all of her systems are maintained at
optimal performance. When no engineer is on the bridge, the Operations Officer sees to any engineering matters
that may arise. Although the transporter systems are Engineering Department assets, it is the Operations
Department that puts them to use. In regards to special environmental conditions required for alien crewmembers
or visitors, the Operations Officer must coordinates with the ship's Chief Medical Officer. The Ops Department head
position is in charge of the recreation areas of the ship as well, such as the various recreation rooms, gymnasiums
and holodecks. The Ops Officer will also work very closely with the ship's Conn Officer with
respect to the use of the Excalibur's two hangar decks, since the Conn Officer is responsible for flying
the shuttles and training shuttle pilots. While the Operations Officer is an important job, this post is often
filled by junior officers, Lieutenants and below. Essentially, the Operations Department monitors and controls the use
of all ship systems not ostensibly involved with propulsion, navigation, or combat.
- The character of Robin Lefler first appeared in two fifth-season episodes of STAR TREK: The Next
Generation, namely "Darmok" and "The Game." Her character was created by "Darmok" scriptwriter Joe Menosky.
- The character of Robin Lefler was portrayed by actor Ashley Judd in STAR TREK: The Next Generation.
Ms. Judd is the daughter of country singer Naomi Judd and sister of country singer Wynona Judd. Ashley's father
is Michael Ciminella. In 1996, Ashley Judd was named one of "The 50 Most Beautiful People In The World" by
People Magazine. A versatile actor, Ms. Judd has made appeared several highly acclaimed performances in films
such as "Heat" with Val Kilmer and Robert DeNiro, and "Kiss the Girls" with Morgan Freeman.
- Fred Bronson, the scriptwriter who co-wrote the story for "The Game" which was the second appearance of
the perky Ensign Lefler, also wrote other STAR TREK episodes. He and Susan Sackett collaborated on the third-
season TNG episode "Menage a Troi." In that episode, Fred created the novel and often-reused concept of oo-mox, the sensual
arousing of a Ferengi male by rubbing his ears. In 1974, Fred Bronson wrote the script for
"The Counter-Clock Incident" the excellent
last episode of the oft-forgotten Animated STAR TREK series.
- The idea to have Robin Lefler be a part of the crew of the Excalibur in the New Frontier books
belongs to author Peter David. He knew that she was a fan favorite like Selar and Shelby.
Other Members of the Excalibur Command Staff:
STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation.
All Rights Reserved. The STAR TREK: New Frontier books are published by Pocket Books,
a division of Simon & Shuster Inc., under exclusive license from Paramount Pictures.
New Frontier concept by John J. Ordover and Peter David.