LOS ANGELES - “Star Trek” actor Zachary Quinto paid a poignant tribute to Leonard Nimoy on Friday as cast members gathered in Hollywood to celebrate the film legend’s life at a special fan event. Nimoy, who played half-human, half-Vulcan science officer Mr Spock in the iconic sci-fi television and film series over more than four decades, died in Los Angeles in February last year at the age of 83.

Quinto, who plays Spock in the rebooted trilogy, told an audience of several hundred fans at the Paramount Pictures lot that “Star Trek” would not have had such longevity without the actor’s contribution.

“In a way I feel like he’s almost more a part of this film than he was of the other two. We were all so cognizant of his absence,” the 38-year-old Pennsylvanian said when asked about filming the upcoming “Star Trek Beyond.”

“But I think, in the face of that, we all held him in our hearts so much more fully... On this film, everybody showed up to work in the spirit of celebrating his life and his indelible contribution to this franchise.”

Quinto’s tribute came during a 50th anniversary celebration and discussion with fellow cast members Chris Pine and Karl Urban, as well as director Justin Lin and producer J.J. Abrams.

Paramount staged a ceremony after the session to name the road outside Stage 31 — where much of the original 1966 series was filmed — “Leonard Nimoy Way.”

The studio used the event to premiere the first detailed trailer for “Beyond,” which shows the USS Enterprise spaceship being ripped apart by a new alien threat.

Lin, who directed several episodes of the “Fast and Furious” action franchise, announced that the movie would debut at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, two days ahead of its US release.

Lin and the cast are expected at the screening, the first-ever open-air IMAX world premiere, which will feature a live concert performance of Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s score by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Abrams followed the announcement by telling the cheering fans that every one of them was to be invited to the screening.

“Star Trek Beyond” follows the blockbuster 2009 and 2013 movies “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which breathed new life into the long-running big and small screen series, which has spawned several spinoffs.

The original “Star Trek” — adored by millions of fans around the world — told the story of the flight crew aboard the Enterprise, which ventured around the galaxy exploring new worlds.

It snowballed into a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s and 80s, turning its stars into household names — Nimoy and William Shatner, who played Captain James T Kirk.

A new television series is due to air in the United States from January 2017 and will be available largely behind the paywall on CBS’s subscription channel.