The Secret Goodbye to Fans From Tasha Yar

Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar

CBS Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar

The story of why Denise Crosby left “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is well known to most fans of the franchise. Crosby, who is the granddaughter of the famous singer and actor of the 1940s, Bing Crosby, was unhappy with her role on the show. 

“I wanted to leave the show,” Crosby told in 2004. “Although it was Gene [Roddenberry’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.”

Crosby as Tasha Yar

Even though her departure may have shocked fans, she felt that leaving the show was the right move for her long-term career. She said as much to in an interview conducted in 2012

“It just scared the hell out of me that this was what I was going to be doing for the next X-amount of years,” said Crosby in the interview. “I think you have to take your chances. I was really young. I didn’t have to make house payments or put kids through private school, or support people. I was free to make those kinds of decisions.”

Crosby returned several times, including as Yar for the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and in the two-parter, “Unification,” which also starred Leonard Nimoy as Spock.

‘Skin of Evil’

The death of Tasha Yar was during an episode named “Skin of Evil,” which featured an oily creature named “Armus,” which used an energy bolt to kill Yar. Eventually, Picard (Patrick Stewart) got involved and was able to evacuate the rest of his crew off the planet and away from the evil being.

The director of the episode, Joseph Scanlan, was unhappy with her performance on “Skin of Evil.” According to FanSided, Scanlan said that her appearance in the funeral scene was “interminable” and that he was unsure who she was looking at as they filmed. 

Tasha’s Secret Goodbye

What may not be as well known as her departure was the secret goodbye. While “Skin of Evil” aired on April 25, 1988, the episode before “Skin” was actually Crosby’s last. “Skin” was filmed before “Symbiosis,” which aired on April 18, 1988. 

“Symbiosis,” as most “Star Trek” fans will remember, featured the actors who played David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) and Joachim (Judson Scott) from “The Wrath of Khan.” While these two faces indeed were distracting, much of the plot was written like a “1980s anti-drugs infomercial,” according to Den of Geek

The story centered around two races that formed a symbiotic relationship with each other. Unfortunately, this relationship was based on an addictive substance, which one world controlled (the Brekkans). Picard cited the Prime Directive a few times and allowed the two parties to solve their problems together. He did refuse to loan some technology to one of the worlds (the Ornarans), which would eventually mean that they would run out of the drug, and break their addiction. 

In one of the final scenes on the episode, which took place in a cargo bay on the Enterprise, Picard lowered the hammer on the arguing races and told them that he was withholding the technology. Then after the Brekkans and Ornarans beamed off the Enterprise with a supply of the medicine (drug), Picard and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) left the cargo bay.

Before the cargo bay doors shut, Crosby leaned over and waved goodbye, presumably to her fans, fellow Trek actors, and crew. 

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