Anton Yelchin 1989 – 2016

In my estimation, when we get to New Years Eve and the news airs the celebrities who died this year segment, it might be significantly longer than any both in some years and probably would not be surpassed for many years to come. It seems that after the passings of Lemmy, David Bowie, Chyna, Guy Hamilton and not to mention the latest person to sadly add their name to this macabre list, Anton Yelchin, it seems partially to be fatal this year to be a part of any part of pop culture I love.

It nearly goes without saying that Yelchin did not have the largest CV to boast about; being fair he is even younger than your faithful die hard Trekkie scribe. However, the fact is that arguably better than most of his fellow cast mates, he took on an iconic role in Walter Koening’s Pavel A. Chekov and while his tenure aboard the NCC – 1701 was a brief one (just as his predecessor Walter Koening who joined Star Trek in its second season and while featured prominently in parts of the first seven movies, was never given the scene stealing rolesAdmiral/ Captain Kirk or Commander Spock enjoyed), I can think of little else to compliment this man and his contributions other than the fact that while the first thought of many when you mention Jim Kirk is arguably going to be Bill Shatner rather than Chris Pine (at least at first), I am not sure the same can be said of Pavel Chekov.

I think this can be best seen in Yelchin’s first scene in Star Trek (2009). Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) curtly demands a new and fresh faced ensign at the helm introduce himself. That Yelchin holds his own with a man of near legendary status in the film world and who is perhaps best known for his definitive portrayal of President Jack Kennedy does perhaps show how much potential this man had, not to mention the fact that unlike the arguable most famous of his predecessors in Bill Shatner, he was never accused of using his role to steal scenes and thereby further his career at the expense of his cast mates.

I think that, along with his aforementioned ability to hang with legends of the screen such as Bruce Greenwood in Star Trek and another alumni, Patrick Stewart in the absolutely excellent quality Green Room.

I hope everyone here will join me in reflecting on this all too brief career and perhaps enjoy his final turn as Pavel Chekov in July 22nd’s Star Trek Beyond.


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