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Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Russian Павел Андреевич Чехов) is a Russianmarker Starfleet officer in the Star Trek fictional universe. Walter Koenig portrayed Chekov in the original Star Trek series and first seven Star Trek films; Anton Yelchin portrayed the character in the 2009 film Star Trek.


Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry stated for the series' 25th anniversary special that he created Chekov's character in response to a Pravda article that noted that although the Soviet Unionmarker was a leader in space exploration, the international crew of the USS Enterprise lacked a Russian character. Including someone from Russia, the United States' long-time Cold War adversary, matched Roddenberry's vision of an ideal future in which the people of the Earth were united. However, evidence suggests Pravda never published such an article, and the story that it did and that this inspired the character is believed to be a publicity stunt and a fabrication by either Roddenberry or an overzealous publicity agent. However, Roddenberry did write a letter to Mikhail Zinyanin, editor of Pravda, informing him of the introduction of the character, and an NBC press release announcing the character at the time did state that it was in response to a Pravda article. Koenig always denied the "Russian origin" story and said the character was added in response to the popularity of The Monkees' Davy Jones, and the character's hairstyle and appearance are a direct reference to this.

Chekov first appeared in "Catspaw", the first episode produced for the second season, making him the last of the original core Star Trek characters to appear. The episode "Amok Time", which was the first episode aired during the second season, was Chekov's first television appearance ("Catspaw" would be aired a month later to roughly coincide with Halloween). Because of budgetary constraints the character did not appear in Star Trek: The Animated Series.


Pavel Andreievich Chekov is a young and naïve ensign who first appeared on-screen in The Original Series’ second season as the Enterprise's navigator. However, The Wrath of Khan established that he had been assigned to the ship sometime before the first season episode "Space Seed," since Khan remembers him in the movie. Koenig joked that Khan remembered Chekov from the episode after he took too long in a restroom Khan wanted to use. It is also known that he joined after "Mudd's Women", since he does not recognize Mudd in the episode "I, Mudd".

Chekov also substitutes for Mr. Spock at the science officer station when necessary. His promotion to lieutenant for Star Trek: The Motion Picture brings with it his transfer as the ship's tactical officer and chief of security. By the events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Chekov has been promoted to commander and executive officer aboard the USS Reliant. In that film, Khan Noonien Singh uses a creature that wraps itself around Chekov's cerebral cortex to control him and his captain. Chekov overcomes the creature's mind control and serves as Enterprise tactical officer in the film's climactic battle against Khan.

Chekov is an accomplice in Kirk's unsanctioned use of the Enterprise to rescue Spock (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) but is exonerated for his actions (Star Trek: The Voyage Home). He serves as navigator and second officer aboard the Enterprise-A during the events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The character's final film appearance is as a guest aboard the Enterprise-B on its maiden voyage (Star Trek Generations). A Next Generation TV episode has character William Riker commenting on having read Admiral Chekov's books.

Star Trek novels show a continued career path, but these are not considered canon in the Star Trek universe. Novels written by William Shatner detail that Chekov reached the rank of Admiral, and even served as Commander in Chief of Starfleet.

Mirror universe

In the mirror universe in the episode "Mirror, Mirror", Chekov is a cunning schemer who recruits several crew members to help him assassinate Kirk and take over the Enterprise. However, he is in turn betrayed by one of his own men, and sentenced to torture in the "agony booth."

Fan productions

Walter Koenig would reprise his role as Chekov twelve years after Star Trek Generations in the fan series New Voyages, in the episode "To Serve All My Days". Koenig would return as Chekov one last time in the online mini-series Star Trek: Of Gods and Men which debuted on December 22, 2007.

Eleventh Star Trek film

In the eleventh Star Trek film, Yelchin's portrayal presents the character as a 17-year-old "whiz-kid," whose mathematical ability proves instrumental in a few events within the film, and whose accent provides some of the film's comic relief, such as his having to slowly pronounce commands because the computer has trouble understanding his mispronunciations of the letter V, for example his efforts to pronounce "Victor" coming out "Wicktor" and "Vulcan" as "Wulcan." This can also be seen, however, as a direct reference to the character having these same problems in the original series, as well as the movies (notably his requests for "nuclear wessels" in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). Yelchin is Russian-born himself, but does not have a Russian accent.

Critical reaction

In the book Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Text by Deborah Cartmell, Imelda Whelehan calls Khan's recognition of Chekov, despite Chekov not yet having appeared when Khan is introduced, "the apparent gaffe notorious throughout Star Trek fandom"


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