Star Trek The Next Generation Skin of Evil
#3 – Tasha Yar
Her meaningless death during the first season episode Skin of Evil wasn’t enough to end her run on the series, in fact it led to her returning in two different and unique ways.
Denise Crosby who played Tasha Yar was concerned as the first season progressed that the series would focus only on the three highest ranking officers aboard the Enterprise D, leaving characters like hers underdeveloped and with largely unexplored backstories. We know the series would go on to explore its. Chief of Security extensively with many episodes being dedicated to her successor, Lt. Worf.
While her death happened in a meaningless way, it did have an impact on the crew, most notably on Data, who almost seemed heartbroken at her loss, despite it being impossible for him to feel it in an emotional way. As time went on, however, she would have a greater impact on the series through her revival then she did through her death.
How it happened:
During an away mission to rescue a downed shuttlecraft the crew encounters a life form named Armus, a black pool of tar consumed by hate who is amusing himself by causing the entire situation. As Yar tells Armus that she is going to rescue the shuttle crew, and that he will no be harmed he hits her with a blast of energy throwing her several feet and killing her instantly.
The crew manages to outwit Armus and rescue the crew of the shuttle, leaving him to suffer alone, as the sole lifeforms on the planet, but the damage has been done, Tasha is dead.
How she returned:
The funny thing about Tasha’s resurrection is that it had technically already occurred before she ever died. During the third season episode Yesterday’s Enterprise a temporal anomaly pulls the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C into the present where it meets the Enterprise NCC-1701-D, as a result the timeline has been altered and the Federation is at war with the Klingon Empire. With the war ongoing the events of Skin of Evil never happened, meaning Tasha was still alive and well aboard the Enterprise D.
Guinan knew that Tasha wasn’t meant to be there, that she had died in the prime timeline, and after speaking to her about it Tasha volunteered to join the Enterprise C as it returned to the past where it faced certain destruction at the hands of the Romulan’s.
We would learn later in season 4 through the appearance of the Romulan Commander Sela, also played by Denise Crosby, that Tasha had survived the final battle of the Enterprise C and been taken prisoner of the Romulan’s. She had been killed in the years that followed, but not before giving birth to her daughter Sela.
We may never have seen the final months of her life on Romulus, but Tasha’s death and revival nearly lead to the Romulan’s take over of both the Klingon Empire and the planet Vulcan. Because of the unique circumstances regarding her revival we rank Tasha Yar number3 on our list.