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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Code of Honor”

“Code of Honor”
Written by Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron
Directed by Russ Mayberry; Les Landau (uncredited)

Season 1, Episode 4
Original air date:  October 12, 1987
Star date: 41235.25

Mission summary

A devastating plague threatens millions of Federation lives and only one planet seems to have abundant supplies of the vaccine: Ligon II. The Ligonians, who are all black, are described as “proud,” “structured,” “ritualistic,” and “honor-based,” because I guess positive adjectives are supposed to make their African tribal vibe seem less racist.

Picard greets the leader, Lutan, and his first officer equivalent, Hagon, aboard the Enterprise. Lutan is immediately taken by Lt. Yar because on their planet “it is the duty of women only to own the land, and the duty of men to protect and rule it.” Picard gifts them some pottery and they get a tour of the Enterprise, then Yar gives them an aikido demonstration as a way to show off both the holodeck and her own physical skills. All seems to be going well, as Lutan appears both pleased by Picard and willing to negotiate for the vaccine. He politely says his goodbyes, but just as he’s beaming out he abruptly snatches Lt. Yar and transports her with them to the surface.

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