Although I may not go see the latest Star Trek movie on principal, I do care about what they do with the role of Chekov. I liked Robin Curtis better than Kirstie Alley in the role of SLieutenant Saavik, but Anton... man, did he ever own that role! (No disrespect to Walter Koenig. He mastered his role, too.) I'm not so sure Anton Yelchin should be replaced, but I don't want him to be killed off, either.
Killing Data in Next Generation was AWFUL, even if a less-than perfect clone exists! Killing Spock's mom, David Marcus, Christopher Pike, Miramanee...
Tasha Yar... well, she wanted to leave the show, so that's different. Plus, she came back.
Don't even get me started on original series storylines that should have been continued in the reboots ("Lights of Zetar", "Spock's Brain", "The World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky", "I, Mudd", "The Cloud Minders", etc.), perhaps instead of the reboots... But that's off-topic.
Comments to a recent speculative new story provide some better Chekov ideas than I think JJ and crew are capable of conjuring. And sometimes, just plain funny.
"You can't just kill him off. He doesn't wear a red uniform." - John
"I think Lens Flare Boy's lens flares have seared his brains." - Sky
"I think the best scenario is to not kill Chekov, as he didn't 'die' in any other canon Trek film. Abrams knows this, so killing the character seems unnecessary and offensive. Promote him, transfer him. This isn't a sitcom, or a prime time cable show, where they have to 'kill' characters off. He was promoted in film. Promote him off, or recast the role.
"Abrams, either pay attention, or step down from the director's chair. Don't ruin a good franchise (more than you already have)." - Christopher
"While I like and admire Mr. Yelchin's work and mourn his passing, I don't think retiring the character is a good idea. Using Abrams' reasoning, the roles of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelly) and Scotty (James Doohan) should be retired due to the passing of the actors who created each of those iconic characters. Actors pass away, but fictional characters do not. I don't think even Mr. Yelchin would approve of this. Star Trek already got a black eye earlier this year when it was disclosed it depicts Mr. Sulu as gay in the latest movie. This over the strenuous objections of George Takei, the man who created the character and who happens to be openly gay. The character as created should be respected. Actors of course can interpret a role, but the basics of the creation should stay intact. The memory of Mr. Yelchin may be honored in may ways, and destroying his character is needless." - Moondoggie5
"The best way to handle Chekov is following something from Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan. In Star Trek 2, Spock was Captain of the Enterprise, Kirk is Admiral, Scotty and Uhura kept their same positions, but Sulu and Chekov were no longer part of the Enterprise's crew. Sulu was temporarily assigned as navigator for the live training mission. Chekov was First Officer onboard the U.S.S. Reliant.
"The best scenario for Chekov is to push up his time table for promotion and have him an officer on another ship, like the Reliant under Cpt. Terrell. Under that condition, Chekov is gone from the crew, but his role can be recast if the character crosses paths with the Enterprise again." - LBX Zero
"There is a wonderful opportunity here - write the character off by sending him thru some sort of time slip causing the character to become an old man, and have Walter Koenig play him in the next movie. This would have many benefits - it would honor the character performance Mr Yelchin brought to the role, it would be a cheap thrill for the ST:TOS fans, it would give Mr Koenig a chance to play the role one more time (forcing him to breathe a little new life into his own portrayal of the character in this timeline), and this option wouldn't force the character to DIE. Chekov could be written out - still alive - but as an old man... rumor has it Mr. Abrams plans to bring back Kirk's father (who supposedly died in the first reboot) - whatever plot device is used to allow that to happen could also be used as the cause for Chekov to age (perhaps having been transported into the distant past, living the majority of his life there, and then being transported back into the present day timeline as Walter Koenig). PS - sorry about the "old man" comment Mr. Koenig, if you happen to read this - we still love you !" - Patrick
"I've been watching Star Trek since it was first introduced, and it wouldn't feel right not to have Chekov as part of the cast. There's a way to honor Anton Yelchin and still keep the character alive! Have a funeral for Chekov, who died saving many lives, and introduce a relative at the funeral who can become the next generation Chekov and continue the tradition. That way clips of Anton as Chekov may be included in future movies while still having a Chekov as part of the team." - Shirley
"Do your jobs, get creative (imagine that) and find a way to pay tribute to the fine actor that was Anton Yelchin without writing off his character." - Ga Tor
"I think J.J. Abrams needs a little Star Trek history lesson." - A Yahoo Reader
"Recast the role of Chekov, but every time the new actor appears on screen obscure his face with lens flare." - Chris
"I totally understand the reasoning for not replacing Anton, with the respect and heartfelt feelings of J.J. Abrams and the cast. But to kill him off would be a insult to Anton and his memory. I believe if Anton could comment on this today he would quote an old Hollywood saying and I quote, "THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Replace me so the story line can continue to age into the story line of the TV series and movies we all fell in love with and embraced all these years!" Anton was a great actor and will be missed, but don't disgrace his memory by killing him off. Do this and you will have to go back and erase Walter Koenig as Chekov in all TV series and movies with name of Chekov. Please don't do it!" - Rick
"Killing him off would be like saying his life's work on the Enterprise was pointless. There was no point to his job. The buttons in front of him on the ship weren't really connected to anything, and he was just pressing on them like an autistic kid on crack." - Ben
"Bring in Walter Koenig as a replacement and say he finally was aged by the comet's rays of Gamma Hydra IV." - James
"Don't kill the character off. Just do what Fast and Furious did for Paul Walker." - Jeremy
"I'm sure glad Abrams wasn't directing the Harry Potter series when Richard Harris died!" - Pipal
"It's actually the perfect time to reboot the series. Set it in an alternate-alternate timeline where Kirk is a lesbian, Spock is a tranny, Sulu is a Muslim, Bones is a Native American, Uhura is still black, Chekov is Pakastani, Scotty is a feminist, and the Enterprise is now the Diversity." - Ba
"As a true Trek fan, I was disappointed with the first reboot. There was never any mention of Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell. He and Kirk were best friends throughout the academy. I understand not having him in any kind of a big role, but not to mention him at all? They mentioned Mudd but not Mitchell
"This would be a perfect opportunity to place Mitchell in the seat. Use a digital simulation of Yelchin's Chekov early in the next movie with Walter Koenig as the voice. After some tragic accident, Kirk finds and asks his old academy friend to help out. A perfect way to both honor Yelchin and the character Chekov and at the same time continue with a historically accurate replacement." - Hangmann747
"I think Yelchin's exuberant delivery of the Line 'I can do that' pretty much typifies the ultimate, unique characterization he brought to the role of Chekov. I doubt anyone could replicate his contribution and frankly, I wouldn't want to see anyone even try. He will be missed.
"Given that the new Star Trek series takes place in an alternate reality from the original, it makes perfect sense that some character's fates differ, as did Kirk's father's." - James
"If this is the shape of things to come, I hope no one else in the present cast meets an untimely end. Eventually there would be no one left to make a movie. Stupid move." - Roger
"Please, don't kill him off! It's too soon and painful. Let him become captain on another ship. This has been so tragic. Let his character know happiness and command." - Evelyn
"I wish someone would replace this JJ hack. He has ruined Star Trek and Star Wars for me. I wish I could un-watch his wretched films. Terrible way for these two legacies to go on. Some things just need to be left alone." - K.C.
"Although I like Checkov, he wasn't a character in the original series until later. So showing him at the beginning of the Kirk-Spock era is incorrect. In fact, he was brought in to bring youth to the crew. Fact." - Professor Crater
"Vee vill all miss him wery wery much." - Rachel
"Why not just re-reboot the series so you can do whatever you want (again)?" - Brad
And one commenter said it all:
"Purists are idiots. If you want nothing to ever change, stick to the reruns." - Nunya
I will, thank you very much.