Comic-Con: J.J. Abrams, Cast and Crew Honor Anton Yelchin at 'Star Trek Beyond' Premiere

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By Mia Galuppo

The Star Trek Beyond world premiere was a night of firsts.

The event took place on the preview night of Comic-Con and, for the first time, a movie was screened outdoors on an IMAX screen. Also for the first time at a world premiere, a ninety-piece orchestra was on hand to provide live accompaniment of the film’s score.

Sadly, it was also the first Star Trek premiere since the series was rebooted without co-star Anton Yelchin in attendance.

Yelchin, who played Chekov in three of the films in the new franchise, passed away last month after a freak automobile accident at his home in Studio City.

“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 producer J.J. Abrams, who directed Yelchin in the first two Star Trek films, released in 2009 and 2013, and produced Beyond.

Abrams added: “There is something missing tonight, there is someone missing tonight.”

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Out on the red carpet, cast and crew could be seen wearing black Star Trek command insignia lapel pins.

On stage at San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park Amphitheater, Star Trek alums Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana were joined by newcomers Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella and director Justin Lin, all of whom honored the late 27 year-old actor, along with Abrams.

“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 ot 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 head, while fireworks exploded over the marina.

Quinto, who plays Spock in the series, also said a few words for the late Leonard Nimoy, who passed away earlier this year. “I Just want to take a moment to honor him, to acknowledge him, to celebrate him and to love him. We all carry him with us in our heart, tonight,” Quinto said.

Beyond sees the crew of the USS Enterprise separated following an attack lead by the the dictator Krall (Idris Elba) that leaves them stranded on a hostile, mysterious world. The movie hits theaters on July 22.

Read More: Anton Yelchin: A Critic’s Appreciation