JJ Abrams, cast and crew honour Anton Yelchin at 'Star Trek Beyond' premiere
'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 Abrams, who directed Yelchin in the first two Star Trek films, released in 2009 and 2013.
Filmmaker JJ Abrams and the team of "Star Trek Beyond" paid tribute to one of the cast members, Anton Yelchin, who died last month after a freak automobile accident at his home in Studio City.
The film's team was present at the San Diego Comic-Con and after it took to the stage, Abrams said "something was missing", according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"There is something missing tonight. There is someone missing tonight," said producer Abrams, standing alongside stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana. Yelchin played Chekov in three of the films in the rebooted franchise.
"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 Abrams, who directed Yelchin in the first two Star Trek films, released in 2009 and 2013, and produced Beyond.
On stage, the "Star Trek" alums were joined by newcomers Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, and director Justin Lin, all of whom also honoured the late 27-year-old actor.
"Anton Yelchin should be here," Abrams continued. "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."
Following the moment of silence, the San Diego Symphony began to play a medley of Star Trek theme music. During the performance, a light show appeared above the audience's heads while fireworks exploded over the marina.
Quinto, who plays Spock in the series, also said a few words for the late Leonard Nimoy, who died earlier this year. "I just want to take a moment to honour him, to acknowledge him, to celebrate him and to love him. We all carry him with us in our hearts tonight," Quinto said.
"Beyond" sees the crew of the USS Enterprise separated following an attack lead by the dictator Krall (Elba) that leaves them stranded in a hostile, mysterious world. The movie hits the US theatres today.