Zachary Quinto visited the Late Show With Stephen Colbert Friday, where the actor remembered his Star Trek cast mate Anton Yelchin, who died in a freak automobile accident at the age of 27. “Beautiful, beautiful guy. I don’t even know how to talk about it,” Quinto told Colbert. “We already knew this was going to be a bittersweet experience as a result of the loss of Leonard [Nimoy] last year. But this has been absolutely devastating for all of us.”
Quinto and Yelchin, as well as the rest of the rebooted Star Trek cast, had grown close – “We genuinely love each other… We are truly intertwined inextricably and I think we always will be in such a great way,” the actor said – over the past nine years together working on the franchise.
“I think our goal just has to be to celebrate his incredible life and honor him as much as we can,” Quinto said of Yelchin. “It was a terrible loss, not only to us personally but I think to the industry and audiences. He was such a talent.”
Colbert and Quinto later discussed the conceptual differences between the Star Wars and Star Trek, two franchises that both the actor and the host love. “I’m a hardcore sci-fi fan from the golden age of science fiction, and to me, Star Trek is real science fiction,” Colbert said. “Star Wars takes place in space, but it seems less like science fiction to me. It’s space opera.”
Quinto added, “Science fiction indicates a kind of intellectual pursuit, like an ideological exploration of where we’re going as a civilization, as a species… The great part about being a part of this reimagining of the franchise is this version of it is the opposite of [the Sixties TV series]. It takes these ideological explorations and infuses them with all of the action and all of the excitement that I think the original series aspired to and sometimes achieved.”