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Marla Aster

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Lieutenant Marla Aster was an archaeologist aboard the USS Enterprise-D. She had a son named Jeremy.

Lieutenant Aster was married, but her husband died of a Rushton infection in 2361. During that time, the Aster family, including Jeremy's cat Patches, still lived on Earth.

While on an away mission in 2366 to study the homeworld of the Koinonians, who destroyed themselves long ago in a lengthy war, she was killed by a remaining Koinonian bomb. Lieutenant Worf, who commanded the away team, felt personally responsible for her death, despite Captain Jean-Luc Picard telling him it was an accident.

The other sentient species on the planet was a race of pure energy beings. They had witnessed the Koinonians destroy themselves in the generations-long war. Sensing the pain of now-orphaned Jeremy Aster, the energy beings created a replica of Marla Aster to raise him. Counselor Deanna Troi felt he had to get over the death of his mother, and this would never let him do that- coupled with the fact that the sheer scale of what the replica would have needed to provide for Jeremy in order to give him a complete life was impossible-, so Jeremy asked the replica to leave. (TNG: "The Bonding")

Commander Riker used Marla's death as an example of how he felt the Klingon ritual suicide was a cowardly escape when Worf considered it following a paralysis in 2368. (TNG: "Ethics")

Marla Aster was portrayed by Susan Powell.
A scene cut from the episode revealed that Aster worked as a teacher on Earth, teaching exoarchaeology and decided to sign on the Enterprise-D to "see the galaxy with her own eyes". [1]
According to the Pocket TNG novel Diplomatic Implausibility, Aster was buried on Earth at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx section of New York City; coincidentally, so is K'Ehleyr, the mother of son's "brother".

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