Anton Yelchin couldn’t attend the premiere of “Star Trek Beyond,” but his cast mates made sure he was there in spirit.
In June, Yelchin died in a freak accident when his Jeep rolled backward and crushed him against a brick wall at his home. He was only 27 years old.
The cast, including Zachary Quinto, John Cho and Chris Pine, honored the late actor at San Diego’s Comic-Con premiere by wearing black Starfleet pins on the red carpet Wednesday night. Yelchin played Pavel Chekov in the rebooted franchise films.
“We wanted to show that we loved him and we’re remembering him,” Cho told PEOPLE. “It’s a celebration of him as much as it is the movie tonight.”
The film’s producer, J.J. Abrams, felt that the event seemed somewhat somber despite all of the excitement surrounding the film’s release and the 50th anniversary for the series.
“There is something wrong tonight, and there is something missing tonight, and there is someone missing tonight: Anton Yelchin should be here. And his parents are here tonight, Irina and Victor. And we loved their son.” He later lead the crowd in moment of silence in Yelchin’s memory. Earlier this week, Abrams revealed he will not recast Yelchin’s role in any upcoming films.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for all of us. Losing a cast member, losing an amazing bright star as Anton Yelchin,” Zoe Saldana added. “So knowing that I was very fortunate to know him as a person and to know how special he was, and how much he loved what he did and ‘Star Trek’ makes me feel that, it’s so good that we honor friendship.”