This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, our subject is Tasha Yar from TNG.
Tasha served as Chief Tactical Officer and Chief of Security on the Enterprise-D for most of the first season of the show. She also served as a love interest for Data, going so far as to have sex with the android while under the effects of polywater intoxication.
However, her role was not to last long, as she died near the end of the first season by a mysterious tar creature named Armus on an away mission. Yar did return multiple times throughout the remainder of the series to play alternate timeline versions of herself as well as a half-Romulan daughter.
Yar had a troubled childhood, which led her to relate to Worf a lot. She was an orphan who had to escape rape gangs frequently while also dabbling in drug use until her escape from her home planet. Yar enjoyed martial arts, especially aikido. She was also shown to enjoy Parrises squares as well.
Yar was the first main character to be killed without resurrection, and was also the first regular character to depart a Star Trek series while in production. The episode Symbiosis was filmed after the episode where Yar dies, so there is a scene where Yar waves goodbye to her fans in the background in Symbiosis. The character of Yar was based on space marine Vasquez in the movie Aliens.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode Skin of Evil:
"My friend Data. You see things with the wonder of a child. And that makes you more human than any of us."
Actor: Denise Crosby played Yar, although she originally auditioned for Deanna Troi and Marina Sirtis auditioned for this role. Crosby also played in horror movies Pet Sematary and Child's Play, as well as guesting on JAG and Dexter.
Until next time, live long and prosper...