Star Trek: The Next Generation/Code of Honor

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Code of Honor
Code of Honor
Season 1, Episode 4
Airdate October 12, 1987
Production Number 40270-104
Written by Katharyn Powers &
Michael Baron
Directed by Russ Mayberry
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Star Trek: The Next GenerationSeason One

Code of Honor is the fourth episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Starring: Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Commander William Riker)

Also Starring: Levar Burton (Lt. Geordi La Forge), Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar), Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf) (credit only), Gates McFadden (Doctor Beverly Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher)

Guest Stars: Jessie Lawrence Ferguson (Lutan), Karole Selmon (Yareena), James Louis Watkins (Hagon)

Co-Starring: Michael Rider (Transporter Chief)


Plot Overview

The Enterprise arrives at Ligon II to negotiate with the Ligonians for a vaccine to Annhiles fever, which is spreading throughout a Federation colony. Lutan, the leader of the Ligonians, is impressed by Lt. Yar's position as Security Officer on the Enterprise, as Ligonian customs dictate that women own the land, while men protect it. When the Ligonian party are ready to return to the planet, Lutan grabs Tasha and takes her with him. After studying Ligonian customs, Riker, Troi and Data determine that Lutan did the equivalent of the Native American practice of Counting coup. They also explain to Picard that the Ligonians follow very strict codes of honor, and that Lutan would consider himself very brave for his actions, and that Picard should ask politely for Tasha to be returned.

Lutan offers to return Tasha if Picard visit him on the planet. Riker objects to this because of Starfleet's policy to not allow a Commanding officer on potentially dangerous away missions, however Troi and Data argue that Picard would be considered an honored guest, and that Lutan would risk his own death if he harmed the Captain. Picard beams down with Troi, and Lutan says he will return Tasha if Picard asks for her back at a banquet that evening. However, at the banquet, Lutan's true motives are made apparent; he announces that he wishes to take Tasha as his first one, which results in Yareena, Lutan's current first one, to challenge Tasha to a fight. Because of the Ligonian code of honor, Lutan will win either way the challenge goes; if Tasha wins, Lutan will inherit all Yareena's wealth and land, and if Yareena wins nothing will change.

Picard assigns Data and Geordi to study the weapons that may be used during the combat, while musing over how without the Prime Directive, they would be able to just take Tasha back, as well as the vaccine. Tasha tries to dissuade Yareena from going through with the challenge, explaining that she is fighting for the vaccine and not out of love for Lutan, however Yareena will not budge. The analysis of the weapons shows they are durable and light enough to be used by women, but also deadly; razor-sharp with poison on the tips. The battle commences, and after tough opposition, Tasha is able to get a blow in. However, she dives on Yareena's body and both are beamed to the Enterprise, where Dr. Crusher is able to save Yareena's life. Picard returns to the Enterprise with Lutan and Hagon, and reveals that Yareena is alive. However, at the moment of her death, the mating agreement between Yareena and Lutan was dissolved. She then takes Hagon as her first one, as she heard him calling out to her during the fight. In the end, the Enterprise leaves with the vaccine, with Lutan losing everything.


  • Stardate: 41235.25

Alien of the Week

  • Ligonians: The Ligonians, of planet Ligon II, are a humanoid race who are not quite as advanced as humans. They live by a very strict code of honor, and have many customs relating to it. By the code, women own the wealth and the land, while the men merely protect it.

Arc Advancement


  • Vaccine: The Enterprise manages to obtain the vaccine for Annhiles fever, of which there is an outbreak on Styrus IV. However, before they are able to finish negotiations for it, they receive word that the plague has flared up and that deaths are estimated in the millions.


  • Tasha: Tasha is kidnapped by Lutan of Ligon II, in a bid by him to gain the wealth and land of Yareena, his first one. Tasha has no interest in him, however Troi does trick her into admitting that she finds him attractive. In the end, after his mating agreement with Yareena is dissolved, Yareena asks Tasha if she wants him. Tasha's reply is simply "There would be complications."
  • Wesley: Dr. Crusher speaks to Captain Picard about her son, saying that he seems very interested in Starship operations, and (speaking as a mother) very bright. However, she reminds the Captain that he ordered Wesley to stay off the Bridge. This results in him acquiescing and allowing Wesley to man the Ops station temporarily.
  • Data: In his quest to become more human, Data attempts to work on humor and tells Geordi a joke: "A man goes to a store to buy some kidneys. He says to the shopkeeper 'I'd like a pound of kiddlies please.' The shopkeeper says 'You mean "kidneys", don't you?' The man says 'I said kiddlies, diddle I?'" Geordi remarks that the joke is too old, and that Data didn't tell it very well. Data asks Geordi how does he know when something is funny, but Geordi finds himself unable to explain it.



The Show

  • Prime Directive: This episode includes the first mention of the Prime Directive. It is a Starfleet Directive that prohibits any interference in the culture, laws or development of any other race. The Prime Directive is mentioned through the run of the show, and also on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, but is broken regularly. It is next mentioned (and broken for the first time) in 1x08 - Justice.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Counting Coup: A Native American practice which was considered extremely heroic. It could consist of touching an enemy with a stick in battle, or taking something from him.

Memorable Moments

  • Data referring to French as "an obscure language" to Picard.