Tasha Yar appears in the most recent episode of Star Trek: Picard, but only as the memorial hologram coveted by Data.
Star Trek: Picard has finally seen a reappearance of Denise Crosby’s late hero Tasha Yar, but not exactly “in the flesh.” We get to see the Enterprise-D’s first security chief in Data’s (Brent Spiner) memory of the holographic memorial he kept of his former crewmate. Yar was infamously killed off in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, while managing to pop back up here and there.
“Surrender” features the final confrontation between Data and Lore, in their shared digital mindscape. Lore seeks to defeat his brother by absorbing his most meaningful memories, including those of Star Trek‘s Tasha Yar. The late officer was the first person Data was ever intimate with, in Season 1’s “The Naked Now.”
Lore is ultimately defeated, because by absorbing Data’s memories rather than destroying his more noble brother, he becomes him. The final straw is the memory of Data’s cat Spot who was last seen in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.
It seems likely this is what Denise Crosby was talking about last August when she confirmed Star Trek: Picard would bring fans a Tasha Yar appearance. “Oh. I don’t want to give away too much. But I’m going to tell you that you will see Tasha Yar, but I’m not going to tell you how.”
It now makes sense that Crosby made it a point to tell Star Trek fans they would “see Tasha Yar” rather than saying she had actually performed for the series. Of course, there are still two episodes left in Picard so she might show up, perhaps as the Romulan villain Sela. It would seem awkward for her to appear so late in the run, but you never know.
Star Trek: The Next Generation had Tasha Yar tap out early because of Denise Crosby’s film career aspirations. But she would famously make her first reappearance in Season 3’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise” when an alteration in the timestream prevents her death while at the same time guaranteeing a long and bloody war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. She returned once more as Yar in the series finale, as part of a timeline that unfolds in the past.
Crosby also became the Romulan Sela, one of TNG‘s recurring villains. As a result of “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” a time-displaced Yar becomes mother to a Romulan child who grows up with no love for the Federation. Her last appearance as Sela was in the Season 5 two-part episode “Unification” which also famously had Leonard Nimoy guest star as a much older Spock.
If there’s any chance of Star Trek: Picard‘s final two episodes giving us another glimpse at either Tasha Yar or Sela, it will stream either this week or next on Paramount+.