Star Trek Beyond, which opens this weekend nationwide, is currently getting rave reviews, and looking to make up for many of the shortcomings of the previous installment, Star Trek Into Darkness. Many are already saying it’s the perfect way to honor 50 years of this iconic franchise.
But sadly, there is a dark cloud hanging over this film, and this is the untimely death of Pavel Chekov actor Anton Yelchin, who passed away just a few weeks ago at the age of 27 in a freak accident outside his home. Said producer J.J. Abrams on Yelchin’s passing, “We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard [Nimoy],” Abrams added. “We had no idea just how devastating events would become.”
Of course, given Yelchin’s untimely passing, the question many fans have been pondering going forward is whether or not the part of Ensign Pavel Chekov will be recast, or whether his death will be written into the narrative in some way. According to an interview given by J.J. Abrams gave the Postmedia Network, it defintely won’t be a recasting.
Said Abrams, “I would say there’s no replacing [Yelchin]. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.” Abrams also told the outlet that discussions are currently happening with the writers of the next installment of the series in order to figure out the best way to address the loss of Chekov.
My own two cents on the matter: The likely possibility is that Chekov’s character will be killed off in between films, probably on an away mission, or something that has the crew of the Enterprise taken quite aback. Of course, Chekov could also be sent away to serve on another ship in between films, but that lacks dramatic punch. It would be far more interesting if the crew had to deal with the loss of one of their own in-story, just as the actors have.
It should be noted that Chekov’s place on the Enterprise bridge was taken twice before in the old continuity. In Star Trek: The Animated Series, he was replaced with the three-armed alien Lt. Arex. And in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the Vulcan Lt. Saavik has taken his place as navigator. Something similar could happen here.
What do you think? Should Chekov be replaced with a new character, or should his seat remain empty in honor of Anton Yelchin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Image: Paramount Pictures