Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana Explains ‘Bittersweet’ Feelings About Filming A New Movie Without Anton Yelchin

Star Trek is a franchise that has entertained fans for decades, both in TV and film. The Enterprise was most recently seen on the big screen with the franchise starring Chris Pine. Now a fourth movie is coming, and Uhura actress Zoe Saldana explains “bittersweet” feelings about returning without late actor Anton Yelchin.

Actor Anton Yelchin starred as Chekov in all three Star Trek movies, and was a real scene stealer during his run. He tragically passed away back in 2016 after a sudden tragedy, prior to the release of Beyond. The recently announced sequel will mark the first installment without Yelchin, and Zoe Saldana spoke to that change, saying:

We're excited. Obviously, it's bittersweet because we are coming together for a fourth time and one of us is no longer with us with Anton's passing, but we honestly feel that going back and keeping the Star Trek family together is a way to really keep him alive in our thoughts and our hearts because he was such a fan. And he was such a devoted artist to the craft and also to Star Trek. So, it would be great to get to go back to work and get to, you know, be together with the gang.

There you have it. Sounds like the cast of Star Trek will be having some mixed feelings on the set of the mysterious fourth movie. Because while they’ll all be glad to dive back into the science fiction property, there will be a noticeable absence in the form of Anton Yelchin. We’ll just have to see how the story continues without the late actor.

Zoe Saldana’s comments to Entertainment Tonight come from the red carpet of her new movie The Adam Project opposite Ryan Reynolds. Not much is known about the new Star Trek movie, as it was only recently announced to be in active development. And while it’s been years since Anton Yelchin passed away, smart money says he’ll still have a strong presence on the upcoming blockbuster’s set.

As previously mentioned, Anton Yelchin tragically died back in 2016, while he was still in the midst of starring in the Star Trek franchise. In what’s been described as a “freak accident”, he was pinned between his Jeep Cherokee and his home, after it rolled back down his steep driveway. Yelchin was just 27 at the time of his passing, which only adds to the tragedy.

You can see Zoe Saldana’s honest answer about Anton Yelchin and Star Trek below,

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In her comments Zoe Saldana praises Anton Yelchin’s craft as an actor, as well as his enthusiasm for all things Star Trek. That enthusiasm likely helped to bring Chekov’s nervous energy to life, resulting in some A+ line deliveries as well as chewing the scenery. We’ll just have to see exactly how the upcoming sequel explains the absence of that beloved Enterprise crew member.

Stark Trek 4 is expected to start filming at the end of 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.