A little over a year after his tragic and untimely death, Anton Yelchin has been memorialized with a full-size statue at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. The statue, which is now open for public viewing, was unveiled over the weekend, with friends, family and Hollywood figures who knew him turning up to pay their respects. Zoe Saldana, who starred alongside Yelchin in the Star Trek movies, spoke at the ceremony. Here's what she had to say.
"It is a bittersweet moment, because we're here for Anton, and he's not here with us. But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we'll keep him alive. We're going to keep remembering him in the hopes that by practicing all the things he believed in and remembering all the love that he gave us, and all the joy he gave us, we're able to just keep him here with us."
Jennifer Lawrence, J.J. Abrams, Simon Pegg, Jon Voigt and others who worked with Anton Yelchin over the years were in attendance at the ceremony. In June of 2016, Yelchin passed away at the age of 27. He was pinned against a wall at his home by his Jeep Cherokee, just days after a recall had been issued for a part on the vehicle. Anton Yelchin's Mother, Irina, spoke at the event about her only child and even found a way to bring some levity to the event with a little joke.
"For [the] next generation visiting Hollywood Forever, they will stop by his statue and wonder, 'Who is this handsome young man, Anton Yelchin?' They'll read about him. Were my son to know we were making him a sculpture, he would have said, 'Mama, you're laughing at me, right?', and then he'll say, 'Oh, only if it makes you feel better.'"
Anton Yelchin was best known for his work as Pavel Chekov in the most recent run of Star Trek movies, but he has been acting since he was a child and still had many years of a very promising career ahead of him. Other movies like Alpha Dog and Green Room showed the actor's range and, tragically, we'll never get to see other great performances that surely were to come from the young star. Even though there are plans for Star Trek 4, it has already been said that they will not replace Yelchin's Chekov in the movie, which speaks to the level of respect the actor earned with those who worked with him.
The "Life Celebration" event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery also featured a memorial banner created by Star Trek fans at a recent convention, honoring Anton Yelchin. The statue that is now on display was created by sculptor Nick Marra and renowned visual effects artist Greg Nicotero. ABC News has some images from the ceremony, including a look at the newly unveiled statue, which you can check out for yourself below. RIP, Anton Yelchin.