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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 shown outdoors on an IMAX screen. Also for the first time at a world premiere, a 90-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, died 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.”
On the red carpet, the cast and crew wore 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 also honored the late 27-year-old actor.
“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 to 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 heads while fireworks exploded over the marina.
Quinto, who plays Spock in the series, also said a few words for the late Leonard Nimoy, who died 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 hearts 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 in a hostile, mysterious world. The movie hits theaters on July 22.
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