Star Trek's Walter Koenig Agrees With Not Recasting Chekov After Anton Yelchin's Death

It’s only been a few months since Anton Yelchin tragically passed away, leaving Trekkies everywhere to mourn the sudden loss. The actor, who played Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abram’s Star Trek reboot, died in a freak car accident shortly before Star Trek Beyond was slated to release. Star Trek cast members paid their respects to Anton, and alums such as George Takei (Hikaru Sulu) also honored the late actor. Now, Walter Koenig is speaking about actor and says he agrees Chekov shouldn’t be recast in the wake of Anton’s passing.

Koenig recently spoke with Yahoo! Movies and was asked whether he agreed Chekov shouldn't be recast. He answered, saying, “I think it’s the right call; it’s paying Anton the most respect.”

star trek chekov walter koenig anton yelchin

The actor went on to say, “I was devastated and still am devastated [by his death]. I spent just a couple of hours with him, but I could tell he was a very good person. He was extraordinarily talented and versatile, and a human being that I would like to be friends with.”

Earlier this year, J.J. Abrams confirmed Star Trek wouldn’t recast Chekov in any future films. Speaking with the Toronto Sun, the producer explained there’s no way they could replace Anton. “I can't possibly imagine that [recasting], and I think Anton deserves better,” he said.

And, when Abrams was asked whether any upcoming flicks would address Chekov’s death, the producer said he wasn’t sure. “I have thought about it, we're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it,” he explained.

Since its release, Star Trek Beyond has grossed over $244 million worldwide and earned positive reviews from both fans and critics. Paramount Pictures has already announced a fourth Star Trek film is in the works which will see the franchise’s regulars return. The project also confirmed Chris Hemsworth has signed on to reprise his role as George Kirk. No director has been tapped for the film, but J.J. Abrams will return as a producer.

This year has been a busy one for Star Trek as the franchise continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Along with the release of Star Trek Beyond, several new documentaries on the sci-fi franchise have aired this year. And, more importantly, CBS announced plans to return Star Trek to the small-screen with Star Trek Discovery. While the network has remained mum on the show’s storyline, fans have learned the new series will feature a female lead who’s not a Starfleet Captain.

Star Trek Discovery will begin its voyage on CBS in January 2017.

[H/T] Yahoo! Movies