In the wake of the announcement of Star Trek 4 and the mind-bending inclusion of Chris Hemsworth, the question of replacing Anton Yelchin as Chekov was always going to come up. The actor was tragically killed as the film entered the busiest pre-release marketing period for Star Trek Beyond, and the film is dedicated to him, quite rightly.
Chekov is said to have an expanded role in Beyond, having been mostly relegated to comic relief in Into Darkness, but it seems JJ Abrams will resist bringing in another actor to replace Yelchin. The producer said as much to Postmedia Network:
“I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better”.
So what do they do with the character? Should we expect some sort of poetic farewell as Paul Walker received in Fast & Furious after his death? That remains unclear, but it seems Abrams has some sort of plan, as he told the Toronto Sun:
“I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it”.
It's only right to leave Chekov out in a show of respect to Yelchin - particularly if the Kelvin Timeline is going to be closing out with this fourth movie anyway (as it should). Given the presence of Hemsworth, that isn't quite as far fetched as it may seem, particularly as the synopsis confirms his role is far more than just a cameo/flashback:
“Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father”.
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