On June 29th, Rihanna released her new single “Sledgehammer” and its accompanying video for the new highly anticipated movie “Star Trek Beyond” set to hit theaters on July 22.
The beautiful, strange music video showcasing Rihanna as a red-clad otherworldly being was directed by Floria Sigismondi, and was the first music video to be shot entirely with IMAX Cameras. The very same camera was used to film the key fight scene in “Captain America: Civil War” and, when combined with IMAX’s digital re-mastering skills, creates an unbelievably realistic and clear picture. “Sledgehammer” was the first song to ever be debuted in IMAX theaters.
Among kaleidoscopic galaxies and solar systems, Rihanna stood amidst an intergalactic field, ethereal particles floating past her as her gown billowed in the wind, her hair flinging freely and her fashionably eyebrow-less face, painted fiercely with brown markings, upheld a somber countenance. The song itself, penned by Sia, was typical in that it included long, belted-out verses which resounded to produce a hauntingly stunning sound. Rihanna’s voice, paired with the staggering visuals, yielded a high quality production that is truly a fascinating work of art to experience.
What gives the song even more depth, however, is the fact that Rihanna, as she states in a featurette, has a very personal reason for agreeing to do the song, being that she and her father enjoyed watching “Star Trek” the television series when she was a little girl. “It’s been a part of me since my childhood,” she said, and therefore she wanted it to be “impactful…very emotional, dramatic, and haunting at the same time.” It’s even more interesting that, in 2014, Rihanna sent out a tweet that now suggests the song has been in the works for two years—it may have even been meant for “ANTI.” It wouldn’t have been surprising, either, given that “Sledgehammer” possesses the same astounding class of vocal range as some of the songs from her 2016 album, such as “Higher” and “Love on the Brain.”
“Star Trek Beyond” is the third installment in the “Star Trek” reboot series, which will star Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and the late Anton Yelchin, who recently passed at age 27 in a car accident on June 19, 2016.