Raffela – Warrior – House of musiker

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Raffaela “Raffi” Musiker captivated our attention from the first moment she appeared on our screens. She had the audacity to point a phaser rifle at our beloved Jean-Luc Picard and seemed to be one of the few people that actually enjoyed his Chateau Picard wine. Raffi was a complicated character from the first episode of Star Trek Picard, but a character that would provide us with a personal depth and a very compelling story line that would ultimately endear her to us all.

Raffi was broken from the moment we met her. Raffi’s issues with addiction, self-defeatism and self-isolation made her a unique character in the Trek universe. She and Picard had a history that didn’t end well for either of them. She also had a knack for discovering the truth despite the consequences and risk. All of this took a toll on Raffi, yet we wanted to know more about her because Picard turned to her, of all the people in his life, for help.

Raffi had been Picard’s First Officer after Riker. She was handpicked by Picard because of her vast knowledge of the Romulans and served with him in leading the Romulan relocation program. He trusted her as much as any of his past officers. She was an integral part of Picard’s post-Enterprise Starfleet career. They had a familiarity and a strong bond that we didn’t have the privilege of seeing play out on screen. But their relationship is brilliantly detailed in Una McCormack’s Star Trek Picard novel “The Last Best Hope”.

Beyond her history with Picard, Raffi also has struggled with her own demons. Raffi’s struggle with guilt, self-worth, addiction and being understood were all obstacles that plagued her as she too tried to find a place where she fit in. As a character, Raffi is complicated, but she is also very relatable. It isn’t often that you find someone on our screens that can reflect some of the most common human flaws with a propensity to care for and read others.

Relationships are a big part of Raffi’s persona. We learn quickly with Raffi that if she lets you into her circle of trust then you are there forever. But there will be hurdles along the way. At her core she believes wholeheartedly in the credo of “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few “, but the “needs of the few” seem to always represent Raffi in her version of Spock’s logic. Thus, leading to her bouts of self-defeatism and self-isolation either through her work with Starfleet, helping her friends, or her own personal failings.

Despite the importance of relationships in her life, Raffi is not afraid to make sacrifices. She sacrificed her relationship with her son to aid Picard and the Romulans. She sacrificed her career and reputation with Starfleet to pursue the truth behind the destruction of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars. Raffi’s continual path of sacrifices is always for the benefit of the greater good, or to aid a friend, or to seek out the truth. All of these are valiant reasons, but continual sacrifice ultimately takes a toll and for Raffi her price to pay was her sobriety and self-worth.

Things began to significantly change for Raffi when she encountered the Fenris Ranger version of Seven of Nine. Seven’s work with the Rangers was enviable to Raffi as it appealed to her desire to help those who are unable to help themselves. Even though both Raffi and Seven have some serious work to do in finding themselves, a relationship blossoms between them that causes a shift for both characters. Romantically, Seven and Raffi are a perfect fit not only for the purpose of character development but also for Star Trek. Their relationship solidified Raffi and Seven as canonically queer in the Star Trek universe and began to provide some necessary stability for both characters.

As Raffi evolved during Star Trek Picard, we did get to see one constant from her – she is incredibly smart. Her intelligence goes far beyond her knowledge and understanding of the Romulans. Raffi devours information, swiftly works out problems and scenarios, and can create a solution to just about anything. Her aptitude coupled with her skills made her a perfect fit for Starfleet Intelligence. It is as an Intelligence Officer that Raffi truly shines, but also teeters with falling back into old habits with her addiction and relationship issues. Thankfully, Raffi begins to fully center herself with the aid of an elder Klingon Warrior – Worf.

Worf’s impact on Raffi’s development is critical to her story arc. Worf, despite his new pacifist ideals, helped unleash Raffi’s inner warrior. Through Worf’s influence, Raffi utilized her instincts and physical prowess to fully embrace her own warrior instincts. This ultimately resulted in several epic fight sequences during Star Trek Picard’s third season and brought a new found consistency and confidence to Raffi.

In the end, we see Raffi get the perfect conclusion in the finale of Star Trek Picard. She becomes the First Officer to Captain Seven serving on the newly christened Enterprise-G. Her relationship with her son and his family is restored and she has once again played a significant role in saving the universe. Some might view this as quite the accomplishment considering that she began her on screen story threatening Admiral Picard.

It is impossible to discuss the impact of Raffi without acknowledging the actor that brings her to life. Michelle Hurd is more than a fantastic actor. She is a Trekkie with a strong belief in the ideal of “infinite diversity in infinite combinations”. She brings an energy and passion to the screen that is palpable. Her chemistry with her fellow actors is noticeable and she seems to keenly understand what fans want and need to hear. It is hard to believe that she was not a part of the Trek universe before Star Trek Picard. The life and depth that she gave to this character solidified Raffi as a legacy character and left fans wanting more of both Michelle and Raffi in future Trek.

Three seasons certainly doesn’t seem like enough when it comes to Raffi’s story, but the story arc we were given was enlightening and impactful. Star Trek is known for Gene Roddenberry’s idea of being a series that provides a mirror for humanity to see its flaws and potential. With Raffi Musiker we have been given the opportunity to see the human spirit rally from a place of brokenness to become Raffaela – Warrior – House of Musiker.

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Fueled by coffee and willing to charge into a nebula for more. I’m a lifelong musician and creative with a love for all things sci-fi. In a universe where you can be anyone, be a Trekkie.

Go Boldly & LLAP

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