The end of a Star Trek era is swiftly approaching. Star Trek: Picard Season 3 will not only be the Paramount+ show’s final season, it’s also intended to be conclude the Next Generation saga. As such, it was announced earlier this year that Patrick Stewart will be accompanied by most of his Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates, and now we can add another name to this lineup. Denise Crosby, who starred as Tasha Yar in The Next Generation Season 1, is involved in Picard Season 3. This is an especially surprising bit of news considering what happened to that character.
The actress revealed this information during a panel at the 56-year Mission Las Vegas Convention (via TXTrek), specifically stating that we will “see” Tasha Yar in Picard Season 3. However, Crosby didn’t provide any details on how her character will fit into the Picard Season 3 narrative. That leaves Wil Wheaton and Diana Muldaur as the only Next Generation main cast members who aren’t on the docket for Picard’s final season, although Wheaton did cameo as Wesley Crusher in the Season 2 finale. Maldaur appeared as Dr. Katherine Pulaski in The Next Generation Season 2 and hasn’t appeared in the Star Trek franchise since then.
The main reason Denise Crosby’s inclusion in Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is surprising is because, well, Tasha Yar’s dead! Introduced as the USS Enterprise-D’s chief of security, Tasha was killed in The Next Generation Season 1 episode “Skin of Evil” by the horrifying black goo creature known as Armus. Crosby later played an alternate timeline version of Tasha in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and the time-twisty series finale “All Good Things” for the scenes set immediately prior to and in the midst of the pilot “Encounter at Farpoint,” but the main version of the character has remained dead. Crosby also recurred in The Next Generation as Sela, the half-human, half-Romulan daughter of the alternate timeline Tasha.
Unless there’s a resurrection coming up, I imagine Tasha Yar will appear either in flashbacks, which will obviously require Denise Crosby to be digitally de-aged, or through some kind of hallucination/dream sequence, which would allow the actress to appear as she does now. There’s also the possibility that instead of appearing on camera, Crosby is only providing her vocal talents in Picard Season 3, which would explain why she wasn’t announced to return with the other Next Generation actors back in April. On the other hand, it’s possible that what we ultimately see is just archived footage of Tasha from the Next Generation days or even something as simple as a photograph of her. However, if Crosby did indeed directly participate in Picard, I’m curious if we might also see Sela, since she’s presumably still alive at this point in the Star Trek timeline and Picard Season 1 was Romulan-heavy.
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 will also see Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd respectively reprising Seven of Nine and Raffi Musiker, and Oral Grady is expected to return as Laris in a guest capacity. Paramount+ subscribers will be able to stream Picard’s final season sometime in 2023, and we’ll continue passing along updates on what this final batch of episodes holds in store.
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