But one Starfleet crew member who won’t be in the series’ fourth installment is Pavel Chekov, who was played by the late Anton Yelchin in the first three films.
A month after the 27-year-old died in a freak accident, director J.J. Abrams revealed that the role of Chekov will not be recast in the film franchise.
Speaking to The Toronto Sun, the 50-year-old producer, who helmed the first two rebooted films, said Yelchin’s character will be retired in future adaptations, explaining:
“I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.”
The Fright Night star died of “blunt traumatic asphyxia” in June after his Jeep rolled down his driveway and pinned the actor to his front gate.
As for how the storyline of Yelchin’s character will be addressed, Abrams says he’s still deciding how to it wrap up.
“I have thought about it. We’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.”
The filmmaker pointed out that filming Star Trek Beyond was already darkened with tragedy with the death of the original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy — who died when the film was in pre-production. Abrams added:
“We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard. We had no idea just how devastating events would become.”
See Yelchin’s final performance as Chekov when Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22.