Star Trek: Beyond is going to be very emotional for fans for two reasons. First, it pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy, who passed away during pre-production of the film. And second, this is the last film featuring Anton Yelchin’s Chekov, who died after the film was made.
With confirmation of a fourth film, and the fact that Chekov is a key member of the Enterprise crew, many have wondered if he would simply be recast. J.J. Abrams spoke to the Toronto Sun and gave a definitive answer:
“I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better,” Abrams said.
“We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard (Nimoy, the original Spock, who died as Star Trek beyond was in pre-production, and whose death is noted in the plot). We had no idea just how devastating events would become.”
This has led many to wonder if he could die in the films as a way of tying up loose ends. To which Abrams replied: “I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it,” he said.
Star Trek: Beyond arrives July 22nd.