With the announcement from Paramount and J.J. Abrams on February 15, 2022, fans worldwide know that “Star Trek” will be back in movie theaters. And, according to reporting from Deadline, the producers of the new installment in the Kelvin series are hoping that Chris Pine will return as Captain James T. Kirk.
Thanks to the report, fans know that the rest of the main cast is also due to come back. That includes Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu), Simon Pegg (Scotty), and Karl Urban (McCoy). But there are a few holes in the primary crew due to tragedy.
In 2016, actor Anton Yelchin was killed in an automobile accident. Yelchin portrayed Chekov in all three of the Kelvin Trek films — “Star Trek (2009),” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and “Star Trek Beyond.” Yelchin used humor and a spot-on Russian accent (which helped make Walter Koenig’s take on the character so beloved) to portray Chekov for a new generation of Trek fans.
Sadly, Yelchin died before the release of “Beyond,” and the film was dedicated to the memory of both Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Yelchin.
Not long after the tragedy, Abrams said that the role of Chekov would not be recast.
“I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better,” Abrams told the Toronto Sun in a 2016 interview.
That leaves an available position in the ensemble cast, which could be filled by two characters that fans fell in love with from the previous films.
Alice Eve as Carol Marcus
Carol Marcus, played by British actress Alice Eve, appeared in “Into Darkness” and is the second person to portray the scientist. She was first seen in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in 1982 and was played by Bebe Besch. Marcus was a love interest for William Shatner’s Kirk and the mother of his child.
For “In Beyond,” Marcus and Kirk never got together — unless one counts the awkward bra and underwear scene — and the relationship was mainly professional. In fact, the only flirtations came from Dr. McCoy (Urban), who bragged about his “legendary hands” as they worked to defuse a torpedo.
Pegg, who co-wrote “Beyond,” explained why Eve did not return in the sequel on the official “Star Trek” podcast:
“With this, it felt like we would under-serve her if we included her, she might end up feeling like she hadn’t been given the amount of screen-time she deserves, so rather than bring her in and just have her be a supporting role, like, have her not be in this one, and when the time comes [bring her back],” said Pegg on the podcast (as reported by Collider).
“The worst thing to do would be to have her in the film and have that character be killed, and that felt like a cynical thing to do,” Pegg said. “We thought rather than have Carol Marcus not be used to a reasonable capacity, let’s just not include her, have her be alive, in canon, and ready to come back at any time.”
Many fans, including writer Chad Porto, think Eve should have been in “Beyond,” despite Pegg’s explanation.
“Any way you slice it, we deserved more Alice Eve,” Porto wrote.
Eve was interviewed by Impulse Gamer in 2013 and said that if she appeared in another Trek film, there could be a relationship between Marcus and Kirk.
“If there is another one, there could be,” Eve explained. “I’d love to become an integral member of the crew.
Sofia Boutella as Jaylah
Unlike Marcus, this character was a warrior who held her own against Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov. Jaylah was played by actress Sofia Boutella in “Beyond.” According to Memory Alpha, she was introduced into the movie “in an effort to increase the female quotient in the main cast of ‘Star Trek Beyond.’”
But, she was the “breakout star” of the film, even if she was there initially to balance things out.
After “Star Trek Beyond,” some wondered if Jaylah would be back in the follow-up film. But, as fans know, the fourth Trek film was canceled. There are many reasons why this happened, but the main reason appears to be because “Beyond” did not make enough money. Looper called this “box-office drop-off.”
In a 2016 interview posted on YouTube, Boutella said that her character and Pegg’s Scotty developed a “brother and sister kind of relationship… which is what I felt the whole time, even outside… not on-screen… not on set.”
Perhaps Jaylah could return and serve as a member of the Enterprise. At the end of “Beyond,” she decided to enroll at Starfleet Academy. It’s been six years since “Beyond,” which is usually enough time for a student to graduate and be assigned a duty station somewhere in the Federation.