Zoe Saldana, who plays Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, has opened up about the reality of filming Star Trek 4 without cast member Anton Yelchin. In 2016, Yelchin was killed in a tragic vehicular accident at just 27 years old. He had appeared as Pavel Chekov in the first three Star Trek reboot films, including Star Trek Beyond in 2016.

Due to Star Trek Beyond’s underwhelming box office numbers, a fourth movie was put on the back burner by Paramount. It was announced last month that Paramount had greenlit Star Trek 4, which will be produced by J.J. Abrams. Negotiations began for cast members Saldana and Chris Pine, but production will have to continue without Yelchin — whose role will not be recast.

“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,” Saldana told Entertainment Tonight. “We honestly feel that, you know, going back and keeping the Star Trek family together is a way to keep him alive in our thoughts and our hearts.”

Besides his role in Star Trek, Yelchin was also known for playing Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation as well as taking parts in acclaimed indies like the romantic drama Like Crazy. His death was the result of a freak accident involving his SUV, which rolled down his driveway and pinned him between his gate post and security fence.

Star Trek is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2023.

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