Mourning the loss of anyone involved with the Star Trek franchise is a sad occasion whether they be a single episode guest star or one of the multitude of talented back stage team.
However the shocking and exceedingly unexpected news yesterday that reboot movie actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a freak traffic accident at his home has seemingly affected every fan of Star Trek.
IMDB credits Anton with 65 credits as an actor, three of which are in post-production and two completed works that includes the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. While he is perhaps most famously known for his role as the Russian ensign Pavel Chekov, Yelchin's credentials are extensive stretching back to 2000 with appearances on ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm and NYPD Blue but his movie career really did step into gear following his first appearance as the USS Enterprise navigator in the 2009 film.
The circumstances of his untimely death seem to be that he was pinned between his car and the gate/mailbox at his house. Friends found him there after he failed to arrive for rehearsal. His car is said to have been found with the engine still running and in neutral. Speculation has suggested his car may have been a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was recalled in April this year for confusing gear selection with drivers apparently unsure what they had shifted to. This is purely conjecture at this time.
Yelchin's death has been widely marked with comments from director JJ Abrams, actor Tom Hiddleston, Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill, Star Trek actor Michael Dorn and many more paying tribute via social media in the last 24 hours. Perhaps one more saddening point is that the 19th June was also Zoe Saldana's - his Star Trek co-star's - birthday.
With the imminent release of Beyond, in which he has featured prominently in early promo material, his career was surely about to explode to another level and it's a great loss that we will never see this young actor aspire to the next level.
In his short but highly memorable tenure with the Star Trek franchise, the actor took Chekov from the bridge of the Enterprise replete with "v/w" accenting and an uncanny ability to "Do zat!" when it came to transporters to acting as Chief Engineer and looked to be a key player within the next installment. No doubt his death will make the third movie just that bit more poignant for all involved and in the audience. I for one hope that it stands as a memorial to a tragically short life ended at just 27.
RIP Anton Yelchin
1989 - 2016