ANTON YELCHIN, OF ‘STAR TREK’ FAME, DEAD AT 27
I’ve rewritten this a few times. I wrote a bunch about Mr. Yelchin like I knew him. We get these windows into these people’s lives as entertainers, and this was no different. His ‘Charlie Bartlett‘ will always stick with me as such a clever, naive character. His ‘Odd Thomas’ was perfect; so much so I didn’t recognize him initially, and had to be reminded in posthumous tributes across the web this last week. Let’s not forget his Kyle Reese in ‘Terminator: Salvation,’ and one of my personal favorites, Charlie in ‘Fright Night.’
Personally, I’ll remember him best as Chekov in the rebooted ‘Star Trek‘ franchise. He was a genuine Russian playing a genuine Russian. The context of the character at the time of the ‘Star Trek‘ is mostly lost on this generation of fans, but that doesn’t matter; he brought his youth, vibrance, and over-embellishment of his heritage without being a caricature, providing a new take on Walter Koenig’s old favorite.
‘Star Trek: Beyond‘ is in theaters July 22nd this year, and I can imagine its critical reception will be met with some melancholy given the untimely passing of one of the main crew. There’s a part of me that hopes, after ‘Beyond,’ that producers don’t replace Chekov. He earned that seat. ‘Star Trek’ & film history should let him have it.
Rest well, Mr. Yelchin.