Los Angeles - Anton Yelchin's character Chekov will not be recast in the next Star Trek film.
The 27-year-old actor tragically died when he was trapped by his own car in a freak accident on the driveway of his Los Angeles home in June, leaving the cast of the sci-fi franchise and fans devastated.
Now producer J.J. Abrams has revealed a decision has been made to retire the role of Ensign Pavel Chekov as a mark of respect to Yelchin.
Abrams said: "There's no replacing him. There's no recasting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better."
Yelchin makes his final appearance as the USS Enterprise navigator in new movie Star Trek Beyond.
Abrams, 50, isn't sure how Chekov will make his exit from the Enterprise team and admits he has considered giving the character an on screen death.
He added: "I have thought about it, we're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it."
Abrams has confirmed that Chris Hemsworth will return in Star Trek 4.
Hemsworth, 32, will reprise his role as George Kirk - the father of Chris Pine's Captain James T. Kirk - in the next movie after being killed off in the opening sequence of the first film of the rebooted film franchise in 2009.
George Kirk heroically gave his own life to save more than 800 others when his ship was crashing after being attacked by aliens - as his son was being born on earth.
Star Trek Beyond also stars Simon Pegg - who acted as co-writer - Idris Elba, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban and is out in cinemas on 22 July.
Watch the trailer here:
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