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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Legacy redirects here; for the unrelated novel, please see Legacy (novel).

The survivors from a doomed freighter crash-land on Turkana IV, Tasha Yar's homeworld, and are taken hostage by a dissident faction. When the Enterprise moves to intervene, they are joined by Tasha's sister Ishara who has ulterior motives.



Riker, Data, Troi, and Worf are playing poker. Troi and Worf are not having much luck, as most of the chips are shared between the two commanding officers. Data raises the stakes, and makes Riker leave the hand. Noticing that they are comparable in poker skill, Riker offers to challenge Data with a magic trick, betting all his chips into a pot that he will retrieve any card Data will pick – with Data's help. Troi cautions Data from doing this and although he values her advice, the android accepts and adds all his chips with Riker's as Riker barely keeps from laughing out loud, believing he'll have an easy win.

As instructed by Riker, Data pick a card (the Jack of Hearts) and puts it back in the deck without showing him. After shuffling and manipulating the cards several times, Riker makes Data pick the same Jack again, to Troi's surprise. Data is however hardly impressed, explaining that he saw that Riker had kept the edge of his left thumb on the card and shuffled so it was on top. By keeping track of it, he was able to have Data remove or keep cards at his choosing until Data's card was the only one left. His gamble having utterly failed, Riker is left chagrined as the triumphant Data rakes in all the chips for himself. In that moment, Captain Picard calls and informs them that the USS Enterprise-D has received a distress call.

"Captain's log, Stardate 44215.2. The Enterprise has bypassed its scheduled archaeological survey of Camus II in response to a distress call from the Federation Freighter Arcos which has assumed an emergency orbit around Turkana IV – birthplace of our late comrade, Tasha Yar."

On the bridge, an audio message is received from the Arcos engineer Tan Tsu, explaining that a warp drive breach is to go critical in just five minutes. The sound of an explosion makes Tan Tsu inform the crew that it is now three minutes to core breach and thanks the Enterprise for trying to rescue them. Picard orders Ensign Bennett to increase the Enterprise's speed to warp 9.6, although the engines have already exceeded recommended limits. They arrive in transporter range just a second too late, witnessing the freighter explosion. However, Data has detected an escape pod trail, which is leading to the colony. The colony is infamous for being lawless: the USS Potemkin was the last Federation ship to contact the outpost in 2361 and was warned that any intruder entering the colony would be killed. Despite this, Picard orders Riker to assemble an away team.

Act One[]

"Captain's log, supplemental. We are in orbit above Turkana IV, an Earth colony that severed relations with the Federation nearly fifteen years ago. I'm concerned about sending an away team, but if we are to discover the fate of the two missing Federation crewmen, I see no alternative."

Although the surface settlements have been destroyed, the colonists now live underground. The away team, including Riker, Worf, Dr. Crusher, and Data, beams down, with phasers ready and set to maximum stun. Looking for the pod, they initially meet no resistance, but suddenly an alarm rings and armed men engage the away team. While explaining their purpose, proximity detectors on the Turkana colonists starts blinking, and the Enterprise crewmen follow the colonists away while they escape. In a safe place, Riker and the others learn from Hayne that the colony is controlled by two opposing cadres, the Turkana IV Alliance, who is currently holding the Arcos men captive, and the Turkana IV Coalition. Hayne, the Coalition leader, tells Riker that he will help him find the prisoners but expects to receive weapons in exchange. He claims to need them in order to maintain peace, but the away team is not convinced. He also explains that no serious conflicts can occur, since intruders are immediately spotted thanks to the proximity detectors. Crusher and Data reply that they know how the colony is torn by conflicts and violence from a former crewman, who died in the line of duty. Riker decides to go back to the Enterprise, and Hayne gives him a bottle of Telluridan synthale as a gift for the captain.

Hayne and Ishara

Hayne introduces Ishara Yar to the Enterprise crew

On the ship, Picard states clearly that he won't provide weapons to anybody, especially "urban street thugs", as he puts it, although he recognizes that the Coalition is currently the only door open to rescuing the hostages. He announces that they will keep that door open to them and see where it leads. While discussing, a communication from the colony is received. Hayne introduces Ishara Yar, claiming she is Tasha's sister.

Act Two[]

Hayne offers help to the Enterprise, apparently to avoid Picard paying a ransom to the Alliance in exchange of the prisoners. After consulting with his senior staff, Picard accepts the proposal, although realizing that such an offer should be addressed with suspicion. Ishara beams on board and is welcomed by Data. Her first reaction is to think of him as a cybernetic warrior, but Data explains that his purposes are different. He explains to Ishara that the Enterprise is not a ship of war but of exploration.

Data and Ishara talk to each other in a corridor, and Data is surprised that Tasha never spoke of her, although they spent much time together. Ishara replies that Tasha had behaved cowardly by leaving the colony, at which Data politely, but firmly, objects in his own way. For a moment, Data seems to recognize a gesture of Tasha in Ishara's face. In the observation lounge, Ishara is received by the senior officers, and offers her DNA to be scanned to confirm her identity. She then explains that the colony started to fall apart thirty years before, and the surface city fell in ruin. The Coalition and Alliance were granted police powers by the government (endowing them with proximity detectors), but at some point, both factions got rid of the government itself. Tasha left the colony more or less at that time, asking her sister to follow her, but Ishara was already part of the Coalition at that point.

Turkana City cartographic database

A map of the underground colony

At that moment, a message from one of the hostages, Tan Tsu, is received, informing the Enterprise that in twenty hours the hostages will be killed. Ishara provides useful information on the structure of the Alliance base. To locate the prisoners, La Forge suggests exploiting the myographic scanner, a sensing device located in the escape pod which monitors the vital signs of the crew, but an amplifier needs to be installed in the pod. Ishara reveals that the pod is in Level 3-C, Section 547. She tells the crew that the Coalition has its sources. To work in the pod device, Worf suggests creating a diversion, and Ishara offers to beam into the Alliance base, so that her proximity sensor will trigger the alarm. To do this, she is ready to take the risks, but Riker prefers to leave the decision to the captain. After providing her DNA to Dr. Crusher, Ishara talks with Data about Tasha. The android remarks that she is dearly remembered by the crew and explains the circumstances of her death.

After being granted permission from the captain, Ishara is beamed into Alliance territory by Chief O'Brien, triggering the alarm. The escape pod is thus left only lightly guarded, and the Enterprise away team can easily access it. The device is damaged, however, and La Forge has to fix it, taking up some valuable time. Riker therefore asks to beam Ishara to the ship, but O'Brien informs him that her position is currently shielded by a transformer substation directly above the chamber she entered, and no transportation is possible. Riker orders the others to return to the ship as soon as possible and goes after her. After shooting an Alliance guard, he finds her stunned and they both beam back to the Enterprise.

Act Three[]

On the ship, Picard informs Riker that the DNA test to confirm Ishara was Tasha's sister was positive, but Riker isn't surprised after seeing how Ishara behaved in the colony. The captain then berates his first officer of taking unnecessary personal risks; Riker explains that they lost Tasha under his command and couldn't let himself repeat that history with her sister, but Picard tells him he can't afford emotional responses, but complements him on the success of their mission.

After Dr. Crusher has healed her broken ribs, Picard also congratulates Ishara for her actions. Ishara explains that she never flees from danger as her sister did. Picard then replies that Tasha was no coward and remembers how he met her for the first time, when she was trying to aid a wounded colonist through a Carnelian minefield since both her ship and his responded to the distress call. For this reason, Picard wanted her on the Enterprise and her commanding officer at the time owed him a favor. In the months that followed, Tasha never once failed to put the safety of the crew before her own, and she died doing the same. The captain concludes that Ishara would be proud of the woman that Tasha became and she would have been proud of Ishara.

Ishara and Data talk again. After discussing some specifications of the Alliance base, she asks about Tasha, whether she had friends on the Enterprise. Data replies she had ties especially with Commander Riker, Lieutenant Worf, and himself, much to Ishara's surprise. He explains that friendship is not based only on emotions, which he does not possess, but also on familiarity and that Tasha is now missed by him.

La Forge has successfully localized the Arcos crewmen. They are deep underground, but the Enterprise's phasers can drill a hole and allow transportation. La Forge notes that he will need two hours to modify the phasers for drilling. Ishara would like to help, but her proximity sensor would trigger the alarm and compromise the mission. She explains that the proximity sensors cannot be removed, since they have a small explosive inside, ensuring enduring loyalty to the cadre. Data, however, devises a procedure to remove the implant. Riker suggests that Ishara think twice about this, a decision that would change her life forever. He tells her to think about it while La Forge modifies the ship's phasers.

Ishara in Ten Forward

Ishara enjoys conversation in Ten Forward

In Ten Forward, Ishara talks to Data. She tells him about how her and Tasha's parents were killed just after she was born. Some people took care of them for a few months, until they came home one day, and they were gone. Tasha took care of Ishara, and when she was old enough, Ishara joined the Coalition. Tasha didn't join; she hated the cadres and blamed them for their parents' death. For everything. She refused to join and left the colony as soon as she had a chance. Ishara now seems to realize that Tasha was not weak, but willing to have a better life in a more constructive environment. Ishara understands how much she already trusts Data, even considering him a friend. Data would also like to consider her as a friend. Ishara laments to Data that she wishes she had known about the Enterprise fifteen years ago and that things might have been different. "Maybe it's not too late," she says.

Ishara Yar kisses Data

Ishara kisses Data

Data tells the captain that Ishara wants to remove her implant and that she has further intention to leave the colony and eventually enroll in the Academy and one day join Starfleet. Troi comments that her loyalty is still divided, but Picard wishes to grant Ishara the possibility of changing her life. Talking with Troi, Data explains that he has now become used to Ishara, and for this reason he is supporting her. Ishara comments how different life is on the Enterprise: in the colony, nobody does anything but for gaining something. The android replies that he will enjoy her continued presence on the ship. Ishara has now to talk with Hayne to communicate her decision to him and goes into the observation lounge for privacy. Before leaving, she softly kisses Data on his cheek. In the transmission with Hayne, however, Ishara behaves unexpectedly, bluntly reporting that everything is going as expected.

Act Four[]

"Captain's log, Stardate 44225.3. Dr. Crusher has successfully removed Ishara's magnetic implant enabling the young woman to guide our rescue attempt. Without my intending it she has virtually become an active member of the crew."

Dr. Crusher has just successfully removed the proximity sensor from Ishara's body. Crusher gives Ishara the implant, in the form of an orange crystal. After gazing at it for a few seconds, Ishara chooses to give it to Data, as a way to remember her. In the corridor, an admiring Worf commends Ishara for her decision to join the Academy. In the meantime, the Enterprise's phasers have dug a hole 1.6 kilometers deep, allowing the away team composed of Riker, Data, Worf, and Ishara, to beam to the colony. The area they beam into has minimal security, being located deep behind the defense lines. After some wandering, they locate the hostages and get them free with minimal struggle. At that point, Ishara, unnoticed, leaves the away team, but is soon discovered by a member of the Alliance, who manages to trigger the alarm. Worf believes she tried to draw the enemy's fire against her. After beaming the hostages on board Enterprise, Riker and Data go looking for Ishara. She is at the base's power core, changing its programming, when she is discovered by Data. The android realizes she is overloading the fusion generator to deactivate the defense system. However, he fails to understand her purposes, and Ishara explains that this way the Coalition troops will defeat the Alliance. Since the Federation would be responsible, Data says he cannot allow this, but Ishara is ready to kill him to proceed with her plan.

Act Five[]

Data facing Ishara

Data faces Ishara overloading the fusion generator

Data realizes how they were all deceived since the beginning, and Ishara angrily orders him to leave, since the hostages are now free. Data asks if their friendship was also part of the deception. Ishara, now clearly uncomfortable, insists that Data should go away, otherwise he will die in the explosion. Thanks to the sudden intervention of Riker, Data manages to stun her and to restore the fusion reactor. Riker grimly notes that Ishara's phaser was set to kill.

Back on the Enterprise, Picard and the other officers face Hayne via the viewscreen. Riker is angry and wants Ishara to be judged for attacking the Enterprise crew, but Picard, saddened, ends the debate and orders her to be returned to the colony. He then abruptly closes the channel, interrupting Hayne. Picard realizes that everybody, including himself, gave Ishara so much confidence, trying to get some part of Tasha back with her sister. Picard tells him that they saw more than was there. While Data is taking Ishara to the transporter, she feels uncomfortable. She explains that she did what she had to do. She also states that she was not always lying, and that she enjoyed talking with him, and that their relationship was the closest thing to friendship she ever experienced. Apparently untouched, Data has O'Brien energize the transporter.

A few days after, Data confides in Riker, explaining he is puzzled because his thoughts are still on Ishara. Riker explains that in every trust there are risks, but without these risks there would be no friendship, which makes people what they are. Eventually, he claims that such risks are worth taking. Leaving Riker's quarters, Data stops, thoughtful, looking at the crystal implant Ishara left him.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Data, have you got a flush or a full house?"
"It will cost you 20 to make that determination, sir."

- Riker and Data

"How many cards?"
"Take five. Throw them away."
(Data throws the five cards over his shoulder, Troi chuckles, Worf is not amused)

- Riker and Data

"Estimate five minutes to warp drive containment breach."
"Make that three minutes. Thanks for trying, Enterprise."

- Tan Tsu, voice-only message from the Arcos

"Ensign, warp factor 9.3! How much time?"
"Seven minutes, fifteen seconds will put us within transporter range, Captain."

- Picard and Data

"The Enterprise is not a ship of war. It is a ship of exploration."

- Data, to Ishara Yar

"You don't believe I'm Tasha's sister."
"We have considered the possibility."
"I'm not surprised. You can sample my DNA if you'd like."
"Yes. I will."

- Ishara Yar, Jean-Luc Picard, and Beverly Crusher

"As I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The input is eventually anticipated and even 'missed' when absent."

- Data, to Ishara on friendship

Later mentioned in "Time's Arrow".

"I don't want to kill you, Data… but I will."

- Ishara Yar

"Set to kill…"

- Riker, on the phaser Ishara fired at him and Data

"The time we spent talking… that was the closest thing to friendship I've ever had. If that means anything to you."

- Ishara Yar and Data

"In all trust there is the possibility of betrayal… Without trust there's no friendship. No closeness. None of the emotional bonds that make us who we are."
"And yet you put yourself at risk."
{smiling} "Every single time."

- Riker to Data

Background information[]

Production history[]

Story and script[]




  • Michael Piller remarked, "It was a good episode because of the performance of the girl and the relationship between her and Data. There's nothing as poignant as seeing the betrayal of an innocent, as Data is. I was very happy with this show, but it doesn't stay with me. It's a show that has great entertainment value, but it doesn't stick as one that I'll always remember." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 210)
  • Joe Menosky commented, "The pleasure with Data was walking the line between android and Human, and hinting at moments when a deeply vulnerable true Humanity would be glimpsed beneath the machine. True Humanity? Or was it just our imagination? That was the line. In 'Legacy', that moment came through with the look on Brent [Spiner]'s face in the last second before we cut to black. It was just wonderful." (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 176)
  • A mission report for this episode by Patrick Daniel O'Neill was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 15, pp. 37-40.
  • Director Robert Scheerer remarks, "That's the one where we went to the underground city. That set was great, really exciting. [Set designer] Richard James had done a wonderful job with it; there were many twists and turns, and we did a lot of hand-held work, sneaking around and blowing out doors. That was enjoyable. I had to go back and see the shows with her [Tasha Yar], because I didn't even know the character. Once I saw who we were talking about, I knew how to deal with it, and her." (The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 20, p. 34)

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt double[]



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Other references[]

External links[]

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