Credit: Paramount

The cast and creators of the new Star Trek films expressed heartbreak over the unexpected death of their costar Anton Yelchin, calling the 27-year-old actor their “little brother.”

Yelchin, whose other films include Hearts in Atlantis, Alpha Dog, Like Crazy, and Charlie Bartlett, died Sunday in an apparent accident at his home after being struck by a car that was left in gear.

In 2009’s Star Trek and its 2013 sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, both directed by J.J. Abrams, Yelchin played the navigator (and later chief engineer) Pavel Chekov, a teenage science prodigy who became a core member of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Yelchin reprised the role in director Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond, set for release on July 22.

After word of his untimely passing, many of his fellow actors have individually expressed their sorrow.

But Abrams, who is a producer of Beyond, sent EW the following message on behalf of the entire cast and crew, signed by Yelchin’s “Star Trek Family”:

Anton was our little brother. But only by years; he was as wise and clever and intellectually curious as anyone we ever knew. His laugh was preposterous — you couldn’t hear it and not laugh yourself. He was funny, edgy, wild and talented beyond measure. His focus and dedication was admirable, as was his love of family, friends, literature and music.

We loved Anton, at work or at play. We are all shocked and numb and devastated by the world’s loss of an extraordinary young man.

To his family, we send you our love during this impossible time.

We will miss Anton forever.

His Star Trek family

For more film news, follow @Breznican.

Star Trek Beyond
  • Movie
  • 120 minutes