Wesley Crusher is a character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Played by actor Wil Wheaton, the character was a regular for the first four seasons. Afterwards, the character appeared sporadically. The character also appeared briefly in Star Trek Nemesis. He is Beverly Crusher's son. His father is Jack Crusher.
In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the character of Wesley Crusher first arrived on the Enterprise-D with his mother, soon after Captain Jean-Luc Picard assumed command. Captain Picard was annoyed by Crusher at first, as Picard is uncomfortable around all children, but he comes to realize that Crusher understands many things beyond his age and has inherited his mother's high intelligence.
An alien Traveler expressed to Captain Picard, and was also told not to tell Dr. Crusher, that Wesley had a unique intelligence and great potential if provided encouragement and opportunity, comparing him to a child prodigy like Mozart. Picard soon appointed Crusher to an acting ensign.
In early episodes of the series, Picard did not allow Crusher on the bridge of the ship. Crusher eventually took the entrance exam for Starfleet Academy. His test score ranked lower than expected, and he was not accepted into the Academy in his first attempt. ("Coming of Age"). Later he missed his second chance to take the Academy entrance exam in order to assist the Enterprise-D crew in rescuing Will Riker, Deanna Troi, and Lwaxana Troi from hostile Ferengi. Picard soon granted him a field promotion to full ensign ("Ménage à Troi").
Crusher was invited to reapply the following year, took the exam, and was accepted into the Academy where he joined an elite group of cadets known as Nova Squadron. His involvement with this group led to his losing academic credits ("The First Duty"), when a squadron-mate was killed attempting a dangerous and prohibited flight maneuver and, under pressure from the team leader Nick Locarno, Crusher abetted the squadron's efforts to cover up the truth. Although the crew's intervention and Crusher's own testimony saved him from expulsion, all of Cadet Crusher's academic credits for the year were canceled and he was required to repeat the year and graduate after most of the rest of his class. He remained in the Academy thereafter until the Traveler re-contacted him, whereupon he resigned his commission and went with the Traveler to explore other planes of reality ("Journey's End").
Many fans, including Wil Wheaton himself, considered the character to be a Mary Sue and a stand-in for Gene Roddenberry, whose middle name was "Wesley". On TvTropes, "The Wesley", a trope describing a character who is liked by the creators of a work but disliked by audiences, is named after him.
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