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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Star Trek: Denise Crosby Teases Tasha Yar for Picard's Final Season

Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Denise Crosby has revealed that somehow, some way, the upcoming third and final season of Star Trek: Picard will feature the return of Tasha Yar.

Crosby discussed Picard Season 3 during an appearance at the Star Trek convention 56-Year Mission Las Vegas. "You will see Tasha Yar but I'm not going to tell you how," she said.

What Happened to Star Trek's Tasha Yar?

Crosby first portrayed Lieutenant Natasha "Tasha" Yar in "Encounter at Farpoint," the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which originally aired in September 1987. However, while The Next Generation went on to run for a total of 178 episodes, Tasha Yar ultimately appeared in less than 30 of them.

Tasha was abruptly killed off in Season 1, Episode 23, "Skin of Evil" (1988). According to Crosby, the reason she left The Next Generation so quickly is because she was unhappy with her status on the show. Interestingly, Crosby was initially chosen to play Counselor Deanna Troi before the role was given to Marina Sirtis. Still, Tasha was a main crew member of the new U.S.S. Enterprise and was billed as one of the show's key characters early on.

Over the course of Season 1, however, Crosby watched Tasha slowly but surely move to the background, prompting her decision to leave the show. That said, it was Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry who decided the character should be killed off. "I wanted to leave the show," Crosby said in a 1996 interview. "Although it was Gene's idea to have the character die. He thought it would be so shocking. I wanted to leave as I was struggling with not being able to do much with the character. I had all these ideas and couldn't do them. I was just stage dressing. I chose to leave instead of just being satisfied with that."

Despite leaving The Next Generation before Season 1 concluded, Crosby has returned to the Star Trek franchise on a number of occasions. She actually reprised her role as Tasha Yar in The Next Generation Season 3, Episode 15, "Yesterday's Enterprise" (1990) -- which explores an alternate timeline -- and again the 1994 series finale "All Good Things..." -- in which Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) finds himself jumping back and forth in time.

Additionally, Crosby played the character Sela in three episodes of The Next Generation in 1991. She later voiced Sela in the video games Star Trek: Armada (2000) and Star Trek Online (2010). Crosby also played Dr. Jenna Yar, Tasha's non-canon grandmother, in the fan series Star Trek: New Voyages in 2009. Finally, Crosby executive produced and presented the 1997 documentary Trekkies and its 2004 sequel.

Star Trek: Picard Is Patrick Stewart's Franchise Swan Song

Picard, the de facto sequel to The Next Generation, is currently gearing up for its third and final season, which is expected to bow in 2023. Picard Season 3 is already shaping up to be something of a Next Generation reunion. In addition to Stewart as Picard himself, the season is slated to feature LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Michael Dorn as Worf, Jonathan Frakes as William Riker, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and the aforementioned Sirtis as Deanna Troi. Evidently, we can add Tasha Yar to that list.

Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Paramount+.

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