Wednesday night was a time of rejoicing for Star Trek fans as SDCC began with an outdoor IMAX screening of Star Trek Beyond accompanied by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. But it was also a time of sadness and recollection as the cast paid tribute to their fallen co-star Anton Yelchin.
Director J.J. Abrams and fellow cast members wore black Star Trek lapel pins in tribute to the 27-year-old star who died tragically when his Jeep Cherokee pinned him at the base of his driveway.
“As wonderful as this is to be here with all of you, and to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, there is something wrong tonight,” said director J.J. Abrams, “There is something missing tonight, there is someone missing tonight. Anton Yelchin should be here, Anton’s parents are here, Irina and Victor. We love their son and if I could ask everyone to have a moment of silence for our dear friend, Anton.”
Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk in the rebooted franchise, “All I can say is he’s a wonderful human being.”
“He was an incredible guy,” said actor and co-writer Simon Pegg, “he’s someone who was part of our family and we miss terribly. I know people want to know how we feel and stuff, but if you’ve ever lost anybody prematurely in circumstances that defy explanation it’s not really an experience you can put into words. It’s beyond devastating, so I just want people to see him tonight and be happy that he has been immortalized in some way.”
Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on Friday, July 22nd.