While younger audiences may not realize it, this creation was one of the most subtly important on the original series.
At the time the original series aired, tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States were at an all-time high. Both post-World War II superpowers had their nukes pointed at the other in a tense standoff that would become known as the Cold War.
Americans didn’t trust Russians, nor did they trust the Communist ideology utilized in that part of the world. Then, all of a sudden, the Star Trek Chekov character comes along, and he’s on American TVs every week as an ally of all things.
His inclusion aboard the USS Enterprise exemplified Roddenberry’s optimistic vision for mankind, as evidenced in this piece by LexGo, so when the time came to reboot Star Trek for the big screen, including the character was as much a given as including Captain Kirk or First Officer Spock.
With actor Anton Yelchin’s shocking death earlier this month, the Star Trek Chekov character will have to be recast should Star Trek Beyond be successful enough to warrant a fourth film. If that comes to fruition, here are six young Russian actors, who would be terrific for the part.
Radugin hasn’t done much in his young career, but he rose to prominence in Russia on the backs of his performances in the two six-hour television mini-series Vorotily and Vorotily. Byt vmeste. He is about the right age to play the Star Trek Chekov character and has a look closer to a young Koenig than the boyish Yelchin.
Isaev has yet to cross over to U.S. soil, but he is well known in Russia, with a string of television series, minis, and movies under his belt. His look is closer to that of Yelchin’s and would likely fit in better with the new Star Trek series than Radugin.
Kryukov burst onto the scene with 2005’s 9th Company and has gone on to star in a total of 30 projects, with a relatively even mix of feature films and television series. His build and complexion would be closer to that of Yelchin’s and would likely cause the least amount of double-takes as a Star Trek Chekov replacement.
Pokrovsky (pictured here) has appeared in the Glukhar television series as well as the feature Glukhar v kino. Beyond that, his career is pretty limited, but he has a friendly look to him that falls somewhere between the two Star Trek Chekov interpretations we’ve already seen. At least get the man a screen test!
Makarskiy is a bit older than his immediate predecessor, but he’s holding up well on age and has a rich history of television projects under his belt. Making the transition would be easier than it is for some on this list of Star Trek Chekov replacements. His major projects include Odnoklassnitsy and the upcoming Ne Para television series.
Film actor, television personality and rising star in his native land, Stepanov is probably our favorite to take over the Star Trek Chekov character in the wake of Yelchin’s death. For starters, he is around the same age. He’s versatile and possesses a look of youth and vitality that encapsulates both Yelchin and a young Koenig.
But what do you think, readers? Will there be a fourth Star Trek film, and if so, would you include a new Chekov in the proceedings? What should Paramount’s next move be? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Paramount]