In the wake of Anton Yelchin’s unexpected death yesterday, another member of the “Star Trek” universe is reaching out to the dearly departed actor’s loved ones with condolences. Walter Koenig, who played the role of Pavel Chekov in the original television series and several films, released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter mourning the young actor, who succeeded him as Chekov in the three most recent “Star Trek” films.
“We spoke on a sound stage for about two hours,” Koenig said of meeting Yelchin in his statement. “His reputation as an artist preceded him, however. I knew I was in the presence of a gifted performer…What I learned that day was how bright and sensitive he was. I walked away thinking — this is a good person. My heart goes out to his mother and father. I know what you’re going through.”
Yelchin died at the age of 27 after being pinned between his Jeep (which had rolled down his driveway), a brick mailbox and a security fence. Fiat Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, has issued a statement saying that it “extends its most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Yelchin. The Company is in contact with the authorities and is conducting a thorough investigation. It is premature to speculate on the cause of this tragedy.” Yelchin’s final performance as Chekov comes in next month’s “Star Trek Beyond.”