4. Tasha Yar- Star Trek: The Next Generation
We return to Star Trek with the first death a main crew member in the TV entries of the franchise. (Spock had passed in Wrath of Khan) Anybody who knows the backstory of this particular entry will be aware of the fact that Denise Crosby wanted to leave the show, so Tasha’s exit isn’t exactly what could be described as unnecessary. A lot of Trek fans have used the fact that Crosby chose to leave as a stick to beat her with as it went on to become a massive success and with all due respect, she didn’t. The reason this is unnecessary is that the whole situation could have been avoided, if the writers actually gave her something to do. Aside from bedding Data, the only thing Tasha did was stand in the background, occasionally say “yes sir” and watched everyone else develop as characters. You can hardly blame the woman for not wanting to be window dressing when she is meant to be a star in the show.
The death itself was a laughable farce, though there was an element to it that I think would have been very cool if it was handled differently. The fact that Tasha was killed so suddenly was very surprising and could have been a great moment, if it wasn’t for the fact that she was killed by one of the lamest villains in all of Star Trek. Tasha Yar wasn’t taken out by one of the great Trek villains or even a memorable one off foe; she was murdered by an enemy named Armus, who was literally a big puddle of tar with a ridiculous crackly voice over. Had the villains of the episode been the Romulans, (who would return a few episodes later) then the scene could have played out in a similar way and it might have been brilliant.
As she hadn’t been fleshed out as a character, Tasha wasn’t particularly missed and the show powered on without her. Thankfully Denise Crosby would return as an alternate Yar a couple of years later for the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” which is one of the best episodes in the shows history. This provided the character with a much better exit and even led to Crosby having a recurring role as a different character.
This article was first posted on August 15, 2013