One month ago, actor Anton Yelchin died in a freak automobile accident, and I’m still sad and angry about it. Yelchin was an immensely talented actor, and given his young age, I have no trouble believing he could have grown into one of the best in Hollywood. He gave scene-stealing performances and could always be counted on to improve the overall quality of his movies.
It will be bittersweet to see him as Pavel Chekov when Star Trek Beyond hits theaters, but since producer J.J. Abrams is already looking ahead to Star Trek 4, it raises the question about what will be done with the character. Chekov has been a staple of the Enterprise crew, and his youth and vigor helps contribute to the overall dynamic of the cast. And yet it would be somewhat disrespectful to simply bring in a replacement for Yelchin, and thankfully, Abrams says that they won’t be recasting the role.
Speaking to Postmedia Network [via The Toronto Sun], Abrams said, “I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.”
I’m glad that they won’t be recasting the role, but then that leads to the question, “How will they write Chekov out of the film series? Will they kill him off?” Abrams says, ““I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.”
I really hope they don’t kill off Chekov. He’s a major character, and for his death to happen off screen would mean it happens off-handedly, and both Yelchin and Chekov deserve better. A more preferable alternative would be to simply find a new navigator, or mention in passing that Chekov received a promotion and an assignment on another vessel. Let him live on elsewhere in this new Trek universe. There’s already been enough death.