By Micheleen Martin | Published
When we learned in early April that almost the entire main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation was returning for the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, there were some notable absences; among them, no mention of Denise Crosby’s return as Lt. Tasha Yar. It wasn’t much of a surprise, of course, since Yar not only died but – due to the types of time travel shenanigans Trek is known for – actually died twice. But apparently Enterprise-D’s first security chief could have another life, as Denise Crosby recently confirmed that her character will return for picardis the last season.
As reported by TrekMovie, on the opening day of this year’s Star Trek Mission in Las Vegas, Crosby told fans that Tasha Yar would be making an appearance in picard Season 3. Asked directly if Crosby was reuniting with her GNT colleagues, she replied, “Oh. I don’t want to reveal too much. But I will tell you that you will see Tasha Yar, but I will not tell you how. You must watch.
Yar was killed by a powerful entity resembling a sentient oil slick in GNT Season 1’s “Skin of Evil”; the kind of ending usually reserved for redshirts and similar nameless characters. While she was enjoying something of a resurrection, fans learned of her second death in Season 5 in two parts (or three parts, if you count the Discovery episode) “Uniting”. But, as Crosby suggests, there are many different ways Star Trek: Picard could cause Tasha Yar to appear without a second resurrection. The actress could appear in a flashback, or her return could have something to do with time travel; something as common in Trek as zombies The Walking Dead.
From what Crosby had to say about it, Star Trek was destined to suffer the loss of Tasha Yar one way or another. The actress was not happy GNT, and in a 2012 interview, she made it clear that her decision to leave was not rushed. “I was miserable,” Crosby said. “I couldn’t wait to get out of this show. I was dying. It was not an overnight decision. I was grateful to have done so many episodes, but I didn’t want to spend the next six years saying, “Yes, yes, Captain” and just standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on deck.
Despite not wanting to stay on board GNT in the long run, Crosby will return to the series multiple times. In seasons 4 and 5, she played the half-Romulan antagonist Sela – Yar’s daughter, and again following the series’ time-travel complications. But she didn’t just reappear as a Star Trek villain, but as Tasha Yar herself. In Season 3’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise” she played Yar in a timeline in which she never died and in which Starfleet was in a losing war with the Klingons. She returned once more in the series finale, “All Good Things…”, in scenes set during the events of GNTThe first episode of “Encounter at Farpoint”.
Crosby also had a successful career beyond Star Trek and Tasha Yar. Some of his most memorable appearances since leaving GNT including roles on Ray Donovan, Dexter, Combinations, The Walking Deadand South Land.