After today’s Los Angeles STAR TREK BEYOND press conference, executive producer J.J. Abrams stated that while he and his team are “incredibly excited” about creating another chapter in the Kelvin Timeline, Anton Yelchin’s character of Chekov won’t be recast.

Said Abrams, when asked if he’s expecting a STAR TREK 4:

It’s hopefully something that we are figurative minutes away from talking about. The answer is 100% yes and it’s incredibly exciting.

Our Los Angeles correspondent @EnterpriseExtra was in attendance at the event – look out for more on that soon – and shared his take on Abrams’ comments:

After Yelchin’s untimely passing on June 19, some speculation began to percolate about the fate of the Chekov character – would he be recast? Would a new character be appointed navigator on the Enterprise, such as Arex from the Animated Series?

arex-tas
Arex, the three-armed navigator who took Chekov’s place for the Animated Series.

Well, in an interview with Postmedia Network (via the Toronto Sun), producer Abrams said that the in-universe fate of Pavel Chekov is still being decided – but he won’t be replaced.

We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard [Nimoy]. We had no idea just how devastating events would become.

I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.

When asked if the character of Chekov might be ‘killed off’ between films, Abrams admitted that was one fate that had crossed his mind – as some online have also speculate – but that it’s way too early for any decisions to have been made.

I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.

Meanwhile, co-star Zoe Saldana spoke her thoughts on the young actors’ passing, in this video interview with the Associated Press.

STAR TREK BEYOND includes a tribute to the fallen actor, and hits theaters next week.

  • prometheus59650

    Not recasting (at least until and unless) they reboot the entire cast again is for the best.

  • Tim

    It’s very sad that he died. But the character is important to Star Trek and should continue.

    • Although the US and Russia have a better relationship now than they did in 1967, things still aren’t exactly friendly between them, and I think including a Russian character still sends a positive message.

      • Bifash

        That’s true. All the anti-Russian propaganda in the western media is just ghastly, and has been for several years now.

    • John Rambo

      Chekov died off screen.

  • Daigs

    Just mention he was promoted to First Officer of the Reliant.

    • DaMac

      Yup. I would do that and add Savikk to the main cast. Two birds with one stone and both right out of the best movie’s continuity.

      • Bjoernar Dohm

        Saavik is a character, I’d love to see again, but she’d be way too young (if she was even born yet).

        • DaMac

          Since Pegg thinks the reboot could change things both before and after, I don’t think it would be a big deal. I’m not sure what her age was in Wrath of Khan but I’m sure it could be fudged around. After all the Khan events took place much earlier in this time line I guess.

          • Bjoernar Dohm

            If she were born earlier in the Kelvin-timeline, she wouldn’t be merely an alternate Saavik, but a completely different character with different DNA that merely shared the same name.

          • DaMac

            It’s Pegg’s argument but not mine. I think it’s silly. I think he whole reboot thing is silly honestly.

        • Rob C

          Well, since Saavik is Vulcan, and Vulcan’s are long lived, who’s to say the character wasn’t older than she looked.

          • Captain_Ron

            That would be doubly interesting, since old Spock had such a close emotional encounter with Savik
            in t.o.s. could you imagine how that might go in the Kevin timeline, with this Spock and Uhura having a romantic fling going on?

  • Brian Thorn

    Bring in Lt. Riley? Or Kyle?

    • SciFiBrony

      Or Lt. Stiles, from Balance of Terror!

      • GIBBS v2

        Or Lt. Barclay!

        • Glory

          Ahem, I believe it’s spelled ‘Broccoli’.

    • GIBBS v2

      Or Lt. Dan!

  • Simple Logic

    In the 4th film, they could encounter a scenario where some of the characters experience advanced aging, similar to the TOS episode “The Deadly Years”. William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig could reprise their roles as the older versions of their characters. However, tragically, Chekov would die of old age before the cure is found.

    • Locutus

      A clever idea, kind of a retread though. I wouldn’t bend the whole plot around it. Better in my opinion to have him transferred to Reliant.

    • Trent

      Or they are all cured except for Chekov ,and Koenig remains playing the part.

  • John Rambo

    The 4th movie should start with a wrath of khan style space burial of Chekov who died on a mission.

    • eyeresist

      That would be too sad.

  • Gary

    Bring in his brother Piotr as a replacement. Even though he wasn’t real in the prime universe, there is nor reason he couldn’t be real in the Kelvin timeline.

  • Martin Spence

    Does Chekov need to die?. simpky say he was reassigned elsewhere… or that he left STrafleet for whatever reason, not every person stays in starfleet forever… maybe he… decided she wanted to do something else.

    • Bifash

      I wouldn’t want Chekov to die off-screen. A better tribute and celebration of Anton Yelchin would be as others have said – to promote Chekov’s character off-screen ( to the RELIANT ), and given him a warm send-off. They could convey it in a similar fashion to Sulu in STAR TREK VI:

      BONES: “My God, that’s a big ship.”
      SCOTTY: “Not so big as her captain, I think.”

      • TUP

        Wouldnt that be a good opportunity to introduce Gary Mitchell?

        • Muzer

          Why on earth would they want to do that? Nobody has heard of Gary Mitchell, so it won’t bring in the general public, and it would only piss off half of actual Star Trek fans that they’re yet again retreading old ground — and probably piss off the other half because he isn’t . Bringing back Gary Mitchell is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard for the franchise, and I’ve heard plenty of bad ideas — so it baffles me that it seems to be so prevalent! Is this just some vocal minority thing or do hordes of people really think it’s a good idea?

          • TUP

            I think you’re missing the point.

            They won’t recast Chekov. So the character is out. They will need someone sitting in that bridge position. They can have it just be a throw away character we’ve never heard of. Or any number of minor characters that appeared in TOS

            Or Gary Mitchell. The fact he won’t draw fans is moot since he won’t be needed to. And Chekov wasn’t drawing fans either to be honest.

            I’m not saying they have to do Where No Man Has Gone Before but it would make sense to make that position someone we’ve known.

          • Rich Wiltshaw

            They did Where No Man Has gone Before in one of the early issues of the comics, which have linked up pretty well with the movies so far, so I can’t see there being much need for Gary Mitchell again. But you are right, the on screen role could be anyone.

          • TUP

            That’s a good point. But while they say the comics are canon they aren’t really. It’s just smart to market them that way. If they had a good idea for Gary in a film they shouldn’t toss it aside because of a comic 100 people read.

            But there were others they could use. Gary is good because it’s easy for non fans to just see a new character but fans who know the name, it adds depth. Even hinting at a possible negative future you could show him to be a friend of Kirks.

          • archer923

            Why not use him? Since he was only on once. And killed off. This can be used to setup the backstory that Kirk had with him. At the point of the pilot TOS episode. It wouldn’t be retreading like Darkness did. And be using something else, from TOS. They don’t need to go near the god stuff at all.

    • Wayne Van

      Why not just make him post-op trans and use a female actor? Seems like that would make the producers happy.

      • Why not a post-op trans woman played by a post-op trans woman? It’s not like there aren’t any out there in the entertainment industry already . . .

  • Bifash

    I think the opportunity here is to add an alien ensign front and centre, such as Arex or M’Ress. I’d say they could easily add other characters that appeared in the original series, but it would be good to add a female, so I’d vote for M’Ress.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df78c4f514fec6e4960bea6f2c8d0fe61865e37a14c0376a17b5a4b8694a39e0.jpg

    • Locutus

      I would agree that another female bridge officer would be splendid. Not M’Ress though. There’s kind of a stereotype that women are like cats and men are like dogs. It’s lame in my opinion. A female cat character is not so empowering. Remember the female cats in Into Darkness? (eyeroll)

      I hope for a strong female character like Jaylah looks to be.

      • Bifash

        Agreed. But I think there’s no reason they could not develop M’Ress ( in look and persona ) to be a strong woman, and give her at the same time a different flavour to Uhura.

        • SciFiBrony

          I doubt they’ll do Arex OR M’Ress, as they’d have to use pre-existing alien species. And the Kelvin timeline movies seem to rather use EXCLUSIVELY their own creations.

          • Bifash

            Um, there were Vulcans, Romulans, and Klingons?

          • SciFiBrony

            Sort of. As my stand alone comments says, of all the aliens we’ve seen in these movies, and we’ve seen a TON, even just on board the Enterprise, out of three movies, we’ve seen a small handful of Klingons, two cat ladies who MIGHT be of the same race as M’Ress (I can’t remember the spelling of her race), a tiny group of Romulans and so few Vulcans that we had attempted genocide of the entire Vulcan race.

            Everything else is an original creation exclusive to this universe.

          • Full of Sith

            Caitian

      • eyeresist

        Half-Romulan Saavik. Lots of dramatic potential there.

        • Bifash

          Funnily enough, I think Sofia Boutella would have made a great Saavik:

          https://twitter.com/ParamountUK/status/752830635249639424

          • Locutus

            I could see that! Saavik would be cool, and there is a tradition of reusing guest stars in different alien appliances.

          • Eric Cheung

            There’s also a tradition of recasting Saavik!

      • TheBlocktacularCFGX

        Not every female character needs to revolve around how “empowering” she is in the eyes of people who have a pathological fear of sexual agency.

        • Locutus

          I’m not sure how disliking portrayals of women as cats translates to a “pathological fear of sexual agency.” I don’t find it that interesting. Star Trek has better examples of female characters like Kira, Dax, or possibly Jaylah. The characteristics of those characters are a better launching point for conceptualizing Chekov’s replacement than a 1970s cartoon trope of a talking female cat.

      • charlesfee

        Why do we have to have an “empowered” female ? “Empowering” like “inclusion” is affirmative action ! There’s PLENTY of opportunity to take a character and write their actions in a crisis as heroic, and have that character stand on its ( Arex his ? ) , his or her own. Uhura’s character was absolutely stereotypical – of a capable , charismatic capable crewman, who fulfilled her role with courage, class and grace. She didn’t need “empowering” . And if you recall th Nichelle Nochols / Lt. Uhura history, and with how hard Gene Roddenberry worked with every actor to CREATE each character, the actors – like the characters they helped create – were heroic in their own right. They knew they were creating something very special. Affirmative action, empowermwnt and inclusiveness weren’t even a consideration. The modern “meanings” for those terms hadn’t even been co-opted yet ! Btw-Arex is digitally created in one of the live action fan films, and they did an EXCELLENT job creating a beleivable character with a very temperate demeanor.

  • MJ

    Trekcore, is there a meaning to Chekov’s glowing red ear in your artwork here?

    • Bifash

      That what happens when there is a light source behind a person. Try it in a mirror.

    • Snap

      Perhaps it is an allusion to “my ears are burning” when someone is talking about you.

  • Captain Jon

    I can’t imagine them recasting Chekov. I think it would be distracting no matter who they bring in. So I think it’s best to retire this iteration of the character.
    This might be a good opportunity to bring in Lt. Ilia and possibly a young Will Decker. Just saying…

    • Dave Mac

      Not a bad idea, actually. Maybe Decker will last long enough to grow a beard…

    • Bifash

      Ilia would be great. Though the same problem would arise as with casting a potential Saavik – Ilia and Saavik should really be at least 20 years younger than Kirk & Spock, which would make them too young to be on the Enterprise.

      • Bart Blommaert

        Nah, Vulcans age much slower than humans. Spock was like 200 years old in the series. So Saavik is possible

      • Captain Jon

        On the contrary, TMP takes place roughly 2 years after the original 5 year mission, so if the next film is set 2 years after Beyond, they wouldn’t be that much younger than they are in YMP. So it would be earlier in their careers.

    • Bjoernar Dohm

      Yeah, Ilia would be great!

  • Martin Venema

    What if Janice Rand became a navigator instead of yeoman https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/811f2f036253e0e21aee4b8ffe19a936c6a6b04cc5acbc9d26eb4b9e72d99ea4.jpg in the Kelvin timeline.

    • Fctiger

      Anything that can happen, does happen in a parallel reality so why not? 🙂

      You know, why is she not there now?

    • Marc Henson

      Not to mention that vat girls were Caitian…the same species as M’Ress.

      I’d actually be a bit disappointed if they didn’t use her.

      • Marc Henson

        I meant cat girls not vat girls

        • Marc Henson

          Actually, lemme rephrase the whole thing. I’d especially be disappointed if they didn’t use Arex, since Chekov wouldn’t be there.

  • Arch Stanton

    I want to see Arex and M’res on the bridge in 4.

  • SciFiBrony

    I doubt they’ll do Arex OR M’Ress, as they’d have to use pre-existing alien species. And the Kelvin timeline movies seem to rather use EXCLUSIVELY their own creations. I mean of all the aliens we’ve seen in these movies, and we’ve seen a TON, even just on board the Enterprise, out of three movies, we’ve seen a small handful of Klingons, two cat ladies who MIGHT be of the same race as M’Ress (I can’t remember the spelling of her race), a tiny group of Romulans and so few Vulcans that we had attempted genocide of the entire Vulcan race.

    But I can’t deny that I’d still like to see the TAS characters in live action finally.

  • Jonathan Burns

    M’Ress would be easier and cheaper to do than Arex.
    She also ticks the right boxes:
    Female
    Cat

    • cyclotis

      I would like to see M’ress in a movie, but how does a female cat person communications officer tick the boxes for replacing a Russian navigator/engineer?

      • Patrick T. McWilliams

        How doesn’t it?

  • A number of years will have gone by presumably, perhaps much of the crew will be off on new assignments. Would make a good excuse for Chekov to no longer be there. If a new character is needed, here’s hoping for someone different from what we’re used to seeing on the bridge. Maybe an Andorian or a Denobulan …

  • Ken Barker

    So, there IS replacing the characters for DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy, whom are all now dead? But no, now that we have this NEW replacement actor that died, we will not replace him?

    Sorry, but this is just stupid.

    • Martin Venema

      How is that stupid? Your comparison is! How weird would it be to see Chekov in Star Trek 4 but with different body/face/voice? When the movie is out people are going to compare both Chekovs. I don’t think that’s the right way!

      But I would like to see someone take over the position of navigator. Maybe a female this time? Janice Rand for example…

      • Ken Barker

        Happens all the time in TV and other Movies. Don’t see how this would be a problem. We Star Trek fans are used to characters/actors being switched out.

        The next movie (if it happens) is going to be years apart anyways.

        And no, my comparison is not stupid. I’m talking about general replacement and change in actors. It’s completely normal.
        I’m all for them switching it up and perhaps have a family member replace him, but the name Chekov is a part of Star Trek, and it SHOULD remain in the show/movies.

        • TUP

          I agree no recast. But I do hope they dont kill him off off-screen. Have him promoted, on-assignment, whatever. They could have him appear in a cameo with archival footage to keep him in the film if they really want to…a transmission for Starfleet or something.

      • archer923

        Nothing happen with Harry Potter.

    • DIGINON

      Kelley, Doohan etc. were replaced only when the studio moved the story to a different timeline and basically rebooted Star Trek. They also replaced the other actors who were still alive. Recasting Chekov with a different actor without rebooting again would be a completely different situation. Of course, that has also happened on Trek before with Saavik.

    • Bifash

      Your Logic…is flawed.

  • Erik

    Oh god, not another one…
    And, I’m not so sure about the 4th film at this point. It depends on the income it earns. further Abrams is the man who said something about a certain lawsuit which should go away and didn’t…

  • Gary

    How about replacing him with Joe Gatt (Science Officer 0718)

  • GIBBS v2

    While Yeltsin’s death is tragic he was just and actor playing a role. I personally have no problem casting a new Chekov. Chekov is the character is just as timeless as the rest, he completes the set and should be there.

  • Gary Neumann

    How about we just retire Chekov in this timeline? I doubt that if something as painful as this would have happened on the original timeline, someone would have said: “Lets just recast him!” That’s rude and disrespectful for Anton.

    Id rather go with the Fast & Furious route, yes, I just said that. No need to show him, but let Anton and Chekov life forever in this timeline.

  • pittrek

    I hope they will do either M’Ress or Arex (or both) and NOT do them in CG

  • acedynamo

    I think they should recast Checkov, Yelchins death is tragic, but I don’t see why the fictional character has to go too.

  • letsgohereorthere

    How about Ilea? Or you could change the setup like Voyager and just have a single helm/navigational array.

  • billymac11

    Promote Chekhov to the Reliant, have a brief on-camera stock clip or previously unused footage of Anton/Chekhov for fan service and proper respect for the actor, maybe an exterior shot of the Reliant flying off, again for fan service, and (sadly) move on. It *is* an opportunity to bring in another character that fans would embrace, such as Arex (CG/Motion capture is OK) or M’Ress (though I agree with reservations expressed about cat/gratuitous sexy/female sterotypes), Saavik, Xon, Decker, Ilia, etc. I’d vote Arex for sheer outrageousness. But definitely, a choice that opens up character development, crew interactions, and dramatic possibilities. But definitely, don’t kill Chekhov off screen, there’s just no need for that and it’s a drag to the next story.

  • Diego Berlanga

    The character of Jaylah is a badass and in the film Kirk invites her to join the Starfleet Academy. Maybe they could promote Chekhov to another vessel and put her in the bridge as a junior officer or something.

  • Col Hogan

    I think bringing back Jayla would work perfectly. She is presumably going to the academy at the end of STB so it’s not very far fetched that Kirk might pull some strings to get her assigned to the Enterprise. They could play it as though someone like Scotty convinced her to do engineering with a Navigation minor so to speak. If you remember, Chekhov was dual trained in engineering and as Navigator. He had to fill in for Scotty. He was 17. Kind of makes you wonder how old you have to be to enter Star Fleet or just how long is the training. At the age of 17, as he said he was in the first movie he would have had to have been 13 years old when he started his training assuming it’s 4 years, and they do insinuate in the 1st movie that it’s 4 years.

  • Iron Worker

    In my opinion, Chekov shouldn’t be killed off in the script. Transfer to the Reliant is a better option, but who will become the new navigator on the Enterprise? How about a beautiful but tough human female navigator? How about introducing a new character for the navigator, with Michelle Rodriguez as the actress? Michelle Rodriguez was outstanding in Avatar and in the Fast and Furious franchise. And, wouldn’t it be special if there were a special friendship between the two ladies on the bridge? What if there was a “hint” of a “bi” relationship between Uhura and the new Michelle Rodriguez navigator character? Would Kirk have to explain it to Spock? Would Spock finally join with the two ladies, and..