Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pavel Chekov Casting News

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Russian born actor Anton Yelchin. age 16, will play future Enterprise navigator Pavel Chekov. The Reporter is more often on the mark then not so this one might be true. The article says the film is believed to "chronicle the early days of the Enterprise crew during their time at Starfleet Academy."

I am thinking that Starfleet Academy is less the focus of the film and more just a useful setting to tell the story of how the Enterprise crew we all grew up on came together for the very first time. The reason I say its just a setting is considering the age ranges of the characters, Kirk would either have just graduated or a senior at the academy. Uhuru would be a junior or sophomore. Sulu a freshman. Scotty would have graduated several years prior and therefore already out on a ship but could be on assignment at the academy. Same with McCoy but again, he could be teaching or temping at the academy as he would still be happily married at the time frame, his daughter possibly just born. Finally Spock would already be 2nd officer of the Enterprise under Pike, but again, nothing like a convenient earthside assignment to take care of that little hiccup.

Really the only question is Chekov. As I said before, he would have to be in his mid-teens to fit continuity...and what do you know he is! How does he fit the story though? Best guess...taking a tour of the Academy grounds when swept up whatever event that has the rest of the future Enterprise shipmates involved in, possibly because of his star charts knowledge, having obsessed at an early age due to Russian's great space explorations (many "a Russian was the first" jokes to be had) and desire to join Starfleet.

For all the naysayers worried that the "reboot" will ignore all previous "history", I think the careful consideration of age for Chekov alone proves that a real attempt is being made to honor it. In this case it would have been very easy for Abrams to simply make him 20 or so and be done with it but appears he is honoring the age difference that was established in the series.

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