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Star Trek: TNG episode
"Code of Honor"
Episode no. 3
Prod. code 104
Airdate October 12, 1987
Writer(s) Katharyn Powers
Michael Baron
Director Russ Mayberry
Guest star(s) Jessie Lawrence Ferguson,
Karole Selmon,
James Louis Watkins,
Michael Rider
Year 2364
Stardate 41235.25
Episode chronology
Previous "The Naked Now"
Next "The Last Outpost"

"Code of Honor" is the third episode of the first season of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was first broadcast October 12, 1987. It was written by Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron, and directed by Russ Mayberry.

Overview: Lt. Yar is abducted by the leader of a people who abide by a strict code of honor.



The Enterprise arrives at Ligon II to acquire a vaccine needed to combat an outbreak of Anchilles fever on Styris IV. The crew, having little information on the Ligonian culture, finds their culture to be similar to that of ancient China following strict customs of status. Specifically, while the men in their culture rule society, the land itself is controlled by the women. Beaming onto the Enterprise with their own transporter technology to provide a sample of the vaccine for inspection, Lutan, the Ligonian leader, is impressed by Tasha Yar's status as a security officer. Yar further demonstrates her combat skills for Lutan on the holodeck. After a tour of the ship, Lutan and his party prepare to depart, but abduct Yar as they transport back to the surface. Captain Picard demands that Lutan return Yar, considering the kidnapping an act of war, but receives no response from the planet. After consultation with his officers, Picard determines that Lutan took Yar in a "counting coup" as a show of heroism. Upon communicating with Lutan in a more peaceful means, Lutan gives the crew permission to beam down to the planet and promises to return Yar after a banquet in his honor.

Lutan announces at the banquet that he will make Yar his "first one", surprising not only the Enterprise crew but also Yareena who believed she was already chosen to be Lutan's "first one". Yareena challenges Yar to a fight to the death to claim back the title of "first one"; Picard objects to the fight, but Lutan refuses to give the Enterprise the rest of the vaccine unless Yar participates. The crew investigates the combat ritual and find that the weapons used are coated with a lethal poison should they make contact; Picard prepares to have Yar beamed to the Enterprise should she be harmed in the battle. As the match progresses, both Yareena and Yar are equally skilled, but Yar eventually lands a strike on Yareena. Yar quickly covers Yareena and orders the transport of both of them to the Enterprise against the demands of Lutan. Aboard the ship, Dr. Crusher finds Yareena moments after death, but is able to counteract the poison and revive her. When Lutan demands to know the fate of Yareena, she reveals that she died, thus ceding the match to Yar and breaking the "first one" bond, but now is able to select a new mate, being Hagon, one of Lutan's bodyguards, and effectively stripping Lutan of his position of power. Hagon lets Yar go and gives the Enterprise their full supply of vaccine.


Based on its portrayal of black people as unevolved African tribe members, the episode has been cited by both fans and cast members such as Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner as "embarrassing" and their least favorite from the entire series.

Production Notes

Writer/Producer Maurice Hurley: "A good idea, but the execution just fell apart. Again, if you take that script and if the actors had been told to give it a different twist, that show would have been different. But it became too baroque and fell apart. But the concept of having a guy say 'I have to have somebody kill my wife and this is the person' is a good idea."

Former consultant Tracy Torme: "I felt like it was a '40s tribal African view of blacks. I think it was kind of embarrassing. Not only was the ending like [original series episode] 'Amok Time,' but it came dangerously close to 'Amos 'n' Andy.'"[1]

External links

  1. ^ Captains' Logs (Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, 1995)


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