When the new Star Trek movie opens in theaters this weekend it will not be the first time a movie has debuted with one of its star actors no longer living. Last month one of the bridge crew members died in an accident when Anton Yelchin – navigator Pavel Chekov – was killed when his vehicle rolled down the driveway and crushed him against a wall. Yelchin had completed filming at the time of his death but the film was still in post production.
Yelchin’s death left the remaining cast in a bit of limbo. While grieving the death of their friend and ship mate, they were also faced with helping to promote the upcoming film.
In the end the cast decided that talking about the film – a film they thought should be seen – was the best way to pay homage to their fallen friend. The film’s writer and star Simon Pegg said, “we came to the conclusion in the end if we withdraw we’re going to risk not helping a film that should be seen, not least because it stars Anton Yelchin. That’s how we found the strength to be here… it’s hard to talk about, be we don’t want to not talk about it. If we don’t talk about it, it’s like we’re ignoring it.”
For their third film in the newly developed franchise, the crew begins their five year mission as they explore previously uncharted space and faces new enemies and challenges.
The death of Yelchin is not the only change that the cast had to deal with on this film. The original Spock Leonard Nimoy died last year just as the film was getting ready to film. “We knew we were going to make a tribute to Leonard when it happened, but we thought let’s make him part of the DNA of the story too,” said Simon Pegg.
Other changes in the film…and the franchise are emotions from the logical Mr. Spock. In “Star Trek Into Darkness” Spock shed a few tears and in “Beyond” he will offer up a chuckle.
And perhaps the biggest surprise is that helmsman Hikaru Sulu is…gay!
Over the years “Star Trek” has granted the wish of avid Trek fans to appear in an episode, series, or film and “Star Trek Beyond’ is no different. Founder of the online retail giant Amazon – jeff Bezos – makes an appearance as an alien.
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