, wait what? Anton Yelchin has been cast in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek film as… Chekov?

Let’s just get the nerdery out of the way here: Chekov (and his Davey Jones of the Monkees wig) didn’t join Star Trek until the show’s second season. Having him in a Star Trek film set prior to or just at the start of Captain Kirk’s time on the Enterprise doesn’t make a lick of sense… unless he’s not going to be the navigator, but will rather have some other task on the ship, possibly as an ensign.

The more I think about it (and I’m doing this piece pretty much stream of consciousness, so we’re going to discover things together), the more that makes sense, since Yelchin is not only a very young actor – he’s 18 – he’s also very baby faced. Perhaps a young Ensign Chekov catches the eye of the new Captain of the ship. Or of Sulu. You know he turned out.

Yelchin’s an actor who I found to be decent in House of D, but who I’ve yet to see do anything else – mainly because all of his movies keep getting delayed. Fierce People was done in 2005 and is only hitting theaters this September (maybe, we’ll see if it doesn’t get pushed yet again), and Charlie Bartlett was supposed to be out this August and has been pushed back to God knows when, or at least I would know when if I bothered looking it up. This doesn’t reflect on Yelchin, but simply means I ain’t been able to see him in anything else.

And actually, reading the Hollywood Reporter article about this, I wonder if Yelchin wasn’t cast because he was born in Russia (he recently went there to film Finding t.A.T.u). I interviewed him for House of D and he had no accent, but I imagine he could ape his parents’ stylings at the drop of a hat. And that whole ‘Russia invented everything!’ trait Chekov had will really work in the post-Cold War world.

So far we have Leonard Nimoy as Spock, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Anton Yelchin as Chekov. This is not the kind of cast that’s making me wildly excited, Abrams.