I like Tasha Yar.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Amaris, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

    May 14, 2001
    To be fair, none of the main characters were very well-written during the first season. If they could take Deanna "Great joy and gratitude" Troi and turn her into a tolerable character after seven years, one wonders what they could have done with Tasha Yar. That said, I never had a problem with the way she went out, or came back.

    Personally, I think the TNG novel "Survivors" is the best depiction of Tasha Yar we ever got. Beats anything we saw on TV...
  2. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 1, 2008
    I agree, Season One's characterizations for the most part redefined 'suck.' I also add my voice to the chorus that she would have made a good command track protege for Picard. Ah, the things that could have been...
  3. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 28, 2004
  4. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 19, 2009
    Between the candle and the star
    I think Tasha Yar had potential. TNG had an unfortunate tendency to relegate its female regulars to "caring" roles, it would have been good to have a woman on the show who could kick alien arse with Worf and Riker.
  5. Piper

    Piper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 19, 2008
    It's impossible to know how Yar would have evolved had she stuck around for seven years. I really liked the character and am sorry we never got to see what could have happened with her, but equally I love the way she was brought back in Yesterday's Enterprise, with a story that gave that episode an extra dimension it wouldn't otherwise have had.
  6. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

    Jun 4, 2009

    The books used Sela's character very well and intricately. :)
  7. Selina Kyle

    Selina Kyle Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 8, 2003
    Oops, I wrote an essay. *helpfully points toward the scroll bar*

    Tasha was the only character I liked in a series I largely detest. It's a strange dichotomy, for me. I tried watching S1 again recently and I could only get halfway before I quit. You can see right about where the writers just give up and Tasha is relegated to the background, in near silence, falling asleep at the security console, with that occasional break to do the Comm officer's job. It should have been Data opening and closing hailing frequencies. e_e

    Then there's "Skin of Evil". In between redshirting the character, using her to directly justify through explanation that "golly, that's what happens to security officers, lolz", complete with the tacked on hailing frequencies gag.... Whether it was intended to or not, it comes across as petty and malicious. And it left the show with only two women, both overtly feminine, Emo!Girl and Doctor Mom. Not my cup of tea. I literally lost interest.

    "Yesterday's Enterprise" made up for that with a blaze of glory death... which got retconned into another (allegedly) lame one. What can I say, I fall in the camp of viewers who consider both small children and espionage agents unreliable narrators. Especially since, parents lie to their children all the time, for their own good. I'm still miffed we never got the "real" story follow-up obviously set up by Sela's account, aside from that wretchedly hilarious scene from "Vulcan's Heart". *winces*

    And then Sela suffered the same lack of character development as Tasha did, with all the genuinely interesting stuff being pushed to the side in favor of lackluster mustache twirling. I guess her history fell in Gene's category of unacceptably unsavory. If the writers were honestly forbidden from tackling the very background qualities that made Tasha interesting and such a potential foil to most the crew.... I can see why Crosby quit. And then people rag on her acting ability, as if the rest of the cast weren't equally awful with a couple of exceptions. In later seasons, they've gelled as a cast, the camaraderie disguising much of that, but don't anyone tell me that Dorn was a better actor. I might burst an internal organ laughing.

    People often say that Tasha's death was necessary for Worf to grow into his, but I believe that's a fallacy. Tasha wasn't stealing scene space from Worf, the bridge tactical officer. His job was to coordinate battle strategy and ship-wide defense in hostile situations. Who actually did that job? Riker, and his job as executive officer was to coordinate department heads and file all the proverbial paperwork, taking over for the Captain as general manager if he were incapacitated. The problem was simply that the characters rarely did their own jobs. Those with three pips or more got the lion's share of screen time (to be expected, I suppose), but they often usurped the supporting cast in the process. Halfway through S1, Tasha, Worf and Geordi become virtually superfluous and, as a result, appear incompetent. The only episode I recall which emphasized who did what job was "The Arsenal of Freedom".

    I think that having an actor quit served as a wake up call to the writers to beef up the supporting cast. There are more than enough roles to fill on a large ship - though not all belong on the bridge. So while, I agree that Worf needed something else to do if Riker was always going to play manly tactical officer, killing off Tasha merely facilitated the process. It's with a certain cynical amusement that I note the writers had no trouble at all providing story lines for the CSO once the role was filled by the traditional big strong man.

    Because it was the eighties and there was still and over-riding preconception that certain behaviors, like being aggressively protective, were inherently masculine traits. So if a woman did that job it would be impossible to avoid turning her into a de facto man or butch lesbian. Sadly, Buffy and Xena weren't around yet to prove otherwise, and I guess Ellen Ripley only made a small dent. I definitely agree with those who say Tasha was ahead of her time. The writers created a great character who pushed the envelope... but it's painfully obvious when trying to watch S1 that they dropped the ball. Even moreso when I watch "Yesterday's Enterprise" and see that they knew how to do it - we could have had that! - instead of the hobbled, sanitized version of Tasha we actually got. In many ways, I loved both character's potential more than the execution.

    Hindsight is 20/20, yeah? Now, if only there were more fic.
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

    May 8, 2003
    The Red Church of Niah
    I think she was best in "Yesterday's Enterprise." While I liked Yar in some of the S1 eps, I can see why Denise Crosby felt they weren't doing justice to the character. But even though she's only brought back for an hour in YE, Denise's performance really shines. I sometimes feel like the writers were able to show the type of well-rounded tactical officer she could have developed into as a continued regular, and being able to show that in such a short span is impressive.
  9. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    I read it and enjoyed your thoughts. :)
  10. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    After rewatching Season One, Yar had almost no character development and very few lines. I think having Worf take her spot was a good decision.
  11. Selina Kyle

    Selina Kyle Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 8, 2003
    Logically then, any character assuming her role should have had equally little character development and lines if those qualities were inherent to it. I'm sorry, and I certainly don't intend to impinge on your character preferences (because we're all entitled to those), but I find the premise that it's a blessing that Worf took Yar's role because it gave him something to do while providing character advancement to be largely fallacious. If it hinged on the role, Crosby wouldn't have quit for lack of material.

    While Worf obviously had even less development as the Tactical Officer, owing to his duties constantly being usurped by 'more important' characters, his later advancement as a character had nothing to do with assuming the role of CSO (a demotion since Yar would have answered to him while manning the guns during combat situations). I believe it had more to do with writers attempting to be more conscientious of minor characters once an actor quit. Instead, I found it deeply ironic that he turned into the Tactical once he became CSO. But the sloppy handling of department divisions is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
  12. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral In Memoriam

    May 20, 2005
    New York City, the greatest city in the world!
    Agreed. It would've gone a long way toward reversing some of the sexism that cropped up in ST from its inception. We would see Yar, as Picard's protege, treated as a person, and not a woman, who wishes to advance in her chosen career, in a non-caretaker role.

    And Picard would be a good role model becaue of his discipline, despite the fact that when he was younger, he was rather callow. And frankly, she would've been a better choice as an officer chosen to lead teams than Wesley was in a few instances. In fact, I could see her becoming first officer after a time -- if they had written Picard out and Riker became captain. (As you may recall, Riker considered Worf as well as Data for the first officer job, even though Data outranked Worf, before settling on Shelby.)

    They did this to a certain extent later with Ensign Ro, although they did make her the template for the "angry Bajoran woman" character we later saw in Kira Nerys at first. Now, it would've also been interesting to have Ro then become Yar's protege if Yar remained on the show because, in many ways, Ro's temperament and backstory mimic Yar's.

    Red Ranger
  13. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Wonder how that turned into a Trek t-shirt? It's a line from Blakes 7. :wtf:
  14. Aurian

    Aurian Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 10, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I liked Tasha very much on my first viewing.. her death was very traumatic to me. For me it was the first time a meaningless death had happened to a mayor character.
  15. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2009
    Waverly, VA.
    I actually didn't like Tasha as a kid, and I suppose that's because the first season was so weak in the characterization department. As I get older though and develop a stronger understanding of character growth over a prolonged period of time I've also become interested in wondering what would have happened to her had she been able to move through the rest of the series like everyone else.

    I don't know. Part of me thinks one less character gave the writers more time to make the others so great.
  16. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    Warner Robins Georgia
    I think it would have been a nice touch for sure......:techman:
  17. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 18, 2009
    I liked Tasha's character too, from the start, and "got" her. She made a believable security officer and character in charge of security.

    In some episodes, they take a little time to explore her role as a security chief and officer.

    One example, in "Heart of Glory" the bridge is tracking the renegade Klingons and after finding them, Tasha asks Captain Picard if she should remain at her station or lead the security team herself to arrest them.

    Then later you can see how she leads her security team, arrests them, and how she handles it.

    Same thing for the Arsenal of Freedom. In the big goodbye we even got to see her sit in the chair, even though it's barely a second. In a way, it was nice to see.

    On her personal side, I noticed the feeling she had with being security chief and balancing her femininity with being tough.

    She did this in Hide and Q (when she got so frustrated she started crying, then felt embarrased) and in the Naked Now where she goes into Troi's quarters and talks about her clothes and how Troi seems to stays feminine.

    She had no problem talking about her homeworld and how she grew up.

    So like the others I wonder too how far her character would go throughout 7 seasons, would have been interesting.
  18. jessicaX

    jessicaX Cadet Newbie

    Jul 15, 2009
    worf has to be head of security guys :klingon:
  19. Saxman1

    Saxman1 Commodore Commodore

    Oct 21, 2005
    Tasha is one of my kids favorite characters "because she is tough and looking for a fight!" They are 8 (boy) and 11 (girl). They also love Worf for the same reasons. In fact, they really like seasons 1-2 of TNG the most because "everything is so WEIRD!" But at heart, they are bigger TOS fans and fans of those characters. They (as did my wife and myself) LOVED the new film, "Star Trek" (2009).

    Crosby was good in "Yesterday's Enterprise." Other than that, I wasn't impressed with her or her character, but no one was that well written in season 1 of TNG, although I do get a lot of goofy enjoyment from a lot of those eps.
  20. Anika Hanson

    Anika Hanson Captain Captain

    Aug 30, 2008
    Yea it was a shame she went so early because I liked her character and I think it could have been developed. However her death allowed Worf to come more to the forefront.