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    Anton Yelchin

    Jew Score:



    March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016

    In 1967, an amazing breakthrough happened on Star Trek. No, not a black woman, that was bound to happen sooner or later, it was the 60s and all. It was Pavel Chekov, a Russian. A Russian among Americans (and a Vulcan). At the height of the Cold War. (Well, Star Trek didn't take place at the height of Cold War. It was filmed at the height of the Cold War. So the notion that Americans and Russians could, theoretically, get along, even in a distant and star-roaming future, was iffy at best.)

    Of course, Russian actors were scarce in Hollywood, so Chekov was played by Walter Koening. (Russian: No. Jewish: Yes.) And four decades passed.

    The Cold War was over, not due to future inter-galactic friendship, but due to bubble gum and blue jeans. And when "Star Trek" was remade in 2009, casting a Russian as Chekov was no longer a problem. In theory.

    Of course, to Americans, the new Chekov, Soviet-born Anton Yelchin is Russian. But to Russians...

    Herein lies the dilemma, at the heart of which is definition of nationality and ethnicity. In America, Yelchin is considered a Russian, and now a Russian American (after becoming a US citizen) because of his birthplace. In Russia, because Yelchin's family is ethnically Jewish (and yes, in Russia, as throughout Europe, Jewishness is considered an ethnicity), he will never be considered a Russian, but rather a Jew, and now an American Jew.

    So, maybe Americans and Russians can't get along, even in a distant future. But Americans and Russian American Jews? That's a start...

    Verdict: Jew.

    August 10, 2009

    See Also

    J. J. Abrams

    The Ferengi

    Leonard Nimoy

    Chris Pine

    William Shatner
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.