WATCH: Music video for Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” inspired by Star Trek Beyond

You’ve seen the latest trailer and heard Rihanna’s Star Trek Beyond inspired track “Sledgehammer”. Now see the music video, just released today.

The video begins by flying through space – planets and nebulae appearing as lighting strikes mark beats in the music. We then see a flash reminiscent of the TMP-inspired Beyond poster as the Enterprise warps into view.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.25.56 PM

The camera zooms into a planet where we see a desert scene and a woman standing in flowing orange robes. Rihanna starts singing, “I hit a wall…”

As the music swells, thousands of tiny ships fly through the sky, and we see the space station Yorktown in the background.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.27.54 PM

The whole video is very science fiction, with fantastical images of planets, space ships, and even a bit of magic. When Rihanna sings, “And, I will rise up from the ashes now…” the rocks and dust around her seem to rise in the air bending to her will.

The end of the video shows off some gorgeous shots of the Enterprise in space.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.31.12 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.30.42 PM

Overall, it’s a visually stunning music video for the eerie and intriguing “Sledgehammer”.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Appropriately Cosmic.
Am I the only one that thought about The Menagerie/The Cage during that video?

I did also Gary and this is a good move for Paramount and Star Trek moving forward. For Star Trek to survive they have to go this route.I’m an old Trek fan but even I can see we need to step aside and let Trek move on. I’m sure there will be some bashing going on in the comments soon lol, bottom line ,Paramount won’t care.

Totally agree!

“For Star Trek to survive they have to go this route.”

I don’t know what that which survives is but it surely isn’t Star Trek.

Kind of like how TWOK wasn’t Star Trek, TNG wasn’t…etc.

People with your mentality fade away, and Star Trek remains. It’s you who isn’t the Trekkie – not Star Trek which isn’t Star Trek.

People with your stupid opinion fade away after such stupid reboots fade away. And no, this isn’t really Star Trek. Fan-made Star Trek Continues is 1000 times more Trek than this generic Bad Robot crap.

You want 1960s Star Trek?

Star Trek for a lot of people was an introvert / outcast safe zone from the popular kids and pop culture. The two have become one and the same now, with it’s message of inclusion and optimism finally reaching the mainstream.

A vocal and tiresome minority want to hate on popular culture, pop music, and other things that remind them of what they are not. Those are the bashers. Unfortunately the message of inclusion and infinite diversity was lost on them to begin with.

Appropriately Cosmic.
Am i the only one who thought of The Cage/ The Menagerie while watching this video?

So you didn’t think of pink elephants?

Sorry for the double post.
When I came back my post wasn’t there and it still said 0 Comments.

Pretty decent tune. I’ll be interested to see what early reviews have to say about “Beyond.” Cautiously optimistic. If anything, the movie has some pretty contemporary street-cred behind it.

I’m pretty sure that location is Trona Peaks — which was also used as Sha Ka Rhee… you know, that planet where Kirk met “God” in ST:V. What does Rihanna need with a starship…?

The last scene with the Enterprise heading towards her face reminded me of that film. Except that this video has way better special effects and managed to boil the same plot down to 3 minutes.

I though the same thing! Genius, right? If only…

Maybe this planet IS Sha Ka Rhee, and that Rhianna’s character is the god/dess of this timeline?

What does Rhianna need with a Starship?

Good one!

I can image Star Trek 5 if they had the technology back then.

They should give STV this level of VFX now its nothing cost wise to Paramount but would make STV a great 50th anniversary present to us fans after all we made Trek what it is by supporting our favourite episodes, movies, merchandise etc etc I think we deserve a STV with 2016 VFX to at least remove the sub standard work they were stuck with in 1989!

The Trona Pinnacles appeared in the original Lost in Space as the “chariot” rolled by with John Williams music playing. ;)

Off topic, but Netflix just bought a new Lost in Space series to air in 2018.


I’d like to see the “family” feel of the LIS first season recaptured without the silliness, but I don’t think it can happen, in this day and age.

On topic, the overhead shot in the Rihanna music video is the best look at the Trona Pinnacles I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to go out there even more…taking an HD cam. ;)


Beautiful song

I Agree.
It fits with the film quite nicely.


@Gary 8.5, It sounds like the lyrics fit Kirk’s narrative, from what I’ve seen so far of the movie clips.

Good song, good video, except the mysterious jerky hands thing she was doing 0_o


Regardless of what you think of the song, the shots of the Enterprise at the end of the video are truly stunning. I bet it was amazing to watch this in IMAX!

Showing the video in IMAX theaters with Tarzan is a pretty cool marketing move.
Way to go Paramount.

I don’t think Paramount would have done this if the movie wasn’t good. I think this film maybe the best of the 3.

A bit too ponderous and sleep-inducing for this old Ramones fan. Nice visual imagery; reminds me in places of Vasquez Rocks.

@ AJ
Kirk should be into the Ramones for sure :^)

Great video with some awesome shots. Rihanna nails it!

Rihanna may have nailed it but I know with certainty that Shatner’s Kirk would have nailed Rihanna.

“Music video for Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” inspired by Star Trek Beyond”


Well the video itself is certainly inspired by the film.
It doesn’t matter that the song was written in 2014.
The video and the film are definitely linked together.

Re-read the sentence. “Music VIDEO for Rihanna’s ‘Sledgehammer’ inspired by BEY”. You’re welcome. ;-)


This girl is no fluke, she’s the real deal and will be around along time.

She has a great voice, with range.

This will earn her an Oscar nomination for best song.

Oh, I do hope so! It’d be so nice if Trek won something at the Oscars besides a nomination for makeup or SFX

I do wonder if that might be possible as well. If so, what a coup and deserved!

Very well done. I’m glad they were able to finally do this in such a way it compliments the film.

I’m not sure if I like this song or absolutely despise it.

Doesn’t matter , the marketing is spot on. I see a lot positive buzz about this film, we didn’t get that with the last one.

4 minutes of my life wasted. Hope the movie was put together better than his video. I don’t care for her voice and repetition of lyrics.

And here we go the bashing parade shows up.

Most songs have a tendency to repeat lyrics.
Just Saying.

@Gary 8.5,
Maybe Forest hasn’t heard much popular music ….

If repetition of lyrics annoys you, I heartily recommend staying away from a song called “Lollipop”

@Harry P
And stay away from “Ruby” too

Look on the bright side. Thank God we’re not stuck in a time loop while wacthing it.

I think that’s Praxis back there in the distance too…. Very cool.

My first thought too. An interesting reference if true.

That’s the Yorktown Space Station getting ripped apart by Idris Elba’s little ships.

Yes, I see the Yorktown Space Station too. But for example, look at 1:10 at the left. That looks very similar to the Praxis-smashing-into-Kronos image from Into Darkness

What is good about this video also is that, within the graphics, there appear to be little homages made to previous Star Trek films. Wonderful stuff!

I guess they just used some of the 3D meshes that were clogging up ILM’s hard drives.

So folks, can some of you FINALLY drop the negativity on this — this is helping to make Trek accessible to new and younger audiences, and we should be celebrating this really good song by very popular singer who loves Star Trek.


It won’t happen. A vocal minority of introverted nerds are afraid of the popular kids liking star trek.

Does anyone else get the impression that with this song she is moving into a Adele type of sound?

This could easily be and Adele song — my opinion, anyway. And I love Adele.

No, not career-wise. This is a power-ballad. It fits the movie because it’s operatic. It has to be big, dramatic, emotional, to fit.

And it is.

@PS, I heard that too, and it suits Rihanna’s voice very well. I understand the “Bond” reference now.

Seems there are two major popular sounds I’ve noticed in women’s vocals these days: throbbing, aching Adele sound, using the full voice with great reach; and a dry singer/songwriter voice with an emo wince or ironical distance, depending.

Does everyone imitate each other now? Hellz, they’ve been doing that with pop music “hooks”/”riffs” since the ’80s, when I got bored with pop; big business ruined it. But singers seem like they’re imitating each other, even the “indies.”

Adele? More like Sia. This song was also co-written by Sia and Jesse Shatkin. The latter, in turn has also frequently been credited as a co-writer on Sia’s own recordings.
And now here’s the thing: Jesse Shatkin frequently works not only with Sia but also with Greg Kurstyn, who in turn the main player behind acts such as Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding AND… Adele (albeit to a lesser extent – he still co-wrote and co-produced a number of Adele’s more recent hit songs such as “Hello”).
You see, it’s all just a great big clique. So it wouldn’t be too surprising if one day we get, say, a Sia song that sounds like Adele, a Rihanna song that sounds like Elle Goulding and a Katy Perry song that sounds like Rihanna.

Sia? Never heard of her?

The song was written by SIA and the video already has over 3 million views in its first day.

Is that a Prince tat on her forehead?

THIS is how you market a Star Trek movie. I got what I asked for with the song, the music, and the video tie-in. But they exceeded my wildest expectations with the quality of the song and Rihanna.

Well done, Star Trek Beyond.

That forehead mark looks like cuneiform script to me. The stuff you see on ancient clay tablets.

I agree on the marketing. I want to see this movie on the biggest screen I can find.

Yeah, I was looking at the cover shot of the trailer video where only the top is visible so it kinda looked that way.

“This is how you market a Star Trek movie”.

With tattoos and pop songs. Sure.

Your attitude is now an irrelevance in the modern world. More marketing, more money, more Trek.

More stupidity, more tattooes, more pop, more $tar Trek.

@ quantum47, I have a feeling that even with the original TOS, Roddenberry hoped Star Trek would make money.

Sure, it may be stupid to you, but we are not Millenials. Millenials are the prime demographic now. And they are into pop and tats. You may judge it “stupidity” but it’s just a different form of popular culture than we Boomers had. Hard to accept for me too, but I try to stay open to possibilities.

This is no different from the way many of our parents viewed the kind of music, fashions etc that we were into as the younger generation. There was music that I did not like that others of my own generation liked. That is how it was then and is now. Some things I don’t understand/like about the latest popular (music) culture, but there are aspects that I do like and can embrace.

This song may not be a favourite kind of music, but, as I hear it, I can hear and appreciate aspects of it and if, indeed, it does really fit with much of what is happening in the film, then it’s definitely a win-win for me.

I have watched the video twice now and I can’t get the melody out of my head. Is that a good or bad thing? On balance, it may be good, although annoying if it keeps going on and I can’t be “distracted” by something else. Such is the bitter/sweetness of life…:)

From a poster on i09:

“The trailer with this song made me interested in seeing this movie for the first time. They really need to start giving credit to people who cut trailers, because the music cues in it were seriously on point. They married the images to them perfectly.”

Hooray! To victory!

This may be the best marketing for a Star Trek film ever.

700,000 views in 9 hours. Looks gorgeous in 1080p. Great idea to whoever came up with it.

This latest series of trailers, the music video (and song!) and film clips will get me to a theater on the first day for a Star Trek movie for the first time since…ages past…and, it will help cleanse the stink of INTO DARKNESS from my heart and mind at last. For that alone, I am already glowing with gratitude. :)

The YouTube video is blocked in Germany, but it is also available on VEVO directlty:

Nice song, gaudy visuals. Shaun Cassidy still has the best Star Trek pop song. :-)

Heh, sorry Morn! I went with the YouTube clip because vevo is blocked where I am. Can’t win.

So, are her lyrics from the point of the view of the Enterprise in the film? Does this mean the Ent will crash (“on the floor I’d be lying cold, lifeless”) and later get fixed by Scotty, to “rise up from the ashes” à la The Flight of the Phoenix?

No, and no.

Brilliant music video I hope all the VFX are inspired by & not taken directly from Beyond though! I want most of the film to be fresh & seen by us all in the theatre on 22nd July!!

Hm, I dunno! That was way too out there for me lol. The song is growing on me though, and that shot of the Big E at the end was voluptuous — reminded me of the best of TOS when the Enterprise would be standing off against some enormous space wonder. That’s the sense of awe we need!

@Paul, Or July 7th if you’re at a special screening in Australia.
Last time there were too many spoilers out there, and I can’t believe Paramount is doing it again! 0__o

@ Marja share those spoilers please on imdb next week but make it clear in the threads they are spoilers!

I’m not in OZ, I wish I were. Naw, I live in Flori-DUH, where a certain orange-haired presidential candidate is extremely popular.

I think that the actors, doing promotional tours, did start here downunder with the first two films. How much the rest of us hear that is really spoilerish depends on the Aussies in that July 7th audience. Last time, many couldn’t keep their mouths shut, despite JJ Abrams asking that they do so in fairness to people who had not seen the films in their entirety. It is really a case of what to do about these idiot cretins. Unfortunately, they seem to be all over the place.

This scenario reminds me of various stories in the New Testament where it is reported that Jesus performs some miracle or other and tells those individuals to keep quiet, so what did they do – many yabbered, despite their assurances. So Duh then and so Duh now.

I guess it is one way of finding who can be trusted and who can’t be.

I’m not sure if the music video made any sense but very beautiful visuals!

Tacking a trunk song onto the end credits of a movie is the most cynical and lazy use of pop music there is.

'Marketing on line 3, Miss Rihanna'
'Oh, right. Um… oh, here's something I dug up out of the bottom of my purse. It's half a song I wrote two years ago. Maybe you can use that.'

That said, she and David Arnold need to sit down and write the next James Bond title song, pronto.

Very nice indeed, good song, strong visuals.

To my fellow German Trekkers who are unable to watch the clip due to the usual YouTube/GEMA crap:
Fortunately, the clip can also be found on dailymotion

PS: Oh, there’s also an alternative YT-upload

Interesting. The video on the Rihanna youtube channel is blocked, but with the song on the Paramount channel the GEMA has no problem. Where is the logic in this? I see though that the Paramount video has just a bit over 2000 views so far. Maybe it is just not blocked yet, because it is very new on the site and the GEMA is slow.

The logic in that is that there is no logic.
But it might have something to do with the number of views, yes.

Also note that it’s not the GEMA that blocks the videos but actually YouTube to prevent running into legal trouble with the GEMA. Hence it doesn’t matter whether something is released as promotional material, under the creative commons licence or whether the publication is considered ‘fair use’ according to US law. It’s a a farce, really.

Oh my! That was painful to watch.

And hear

I would imagine, but as a general rule you should never do naked squats in front of a mirror.

@RollieG, Well, now you know not to watch it again :-)

@Marja, I swear I will never watch it again. Now if I can find a way to forget it ever happened, that would be neat :-)

I really like this video and I been watching Trek in all versions for 30 years now. And this was SUCH a smart move by Paramount. This video is going to get more views than all the previous Beyond trailers combined because it has Rhianna in it. I think that first trailer was SOOOO bad because it was trying to be ‘hip’ but just felt like it missed the mark. Now with this song and the last trailer they got it right, or at least better. A modern day song but connects to the film in a emotional way. Thats how you do it. Beyond just may not be the disaster I thought it would with all the drama around it. And now with Anton’s sudden death it will probably bring in more interest and I don’t mean that in a crass way, just a reality.

Anyway, I’m getting a bit more excited about the film. I still think the story will be generic and its going to be an action fest but as long as its a fun action fest with a generic story I’ll be happy at this point.

Great song and video and for a change a really good marketing move from Paramount!

Great song. Did anyone notice a few changes to the enterprise at the end? Namely more phaser emitters along the saucer, and swept back nacelles in the final shot?

Justin Lin also requested a thinner neck and nacelles.

I really like that we got a very good look at the Registry Number for The Enterprise.

“On Wednesday, the singer was in Manchester, U.K. during the European leg of her “Anti” world tour. According to the Manchester Evening News, dozens of fans were waiting outside the Emirates Old Trafford stadium—an outdoor venue—when it started pouring hours ahead of the show. To show gratitude for her loyal fans, the Grammy-winner sent out 20 boxes of pizza—some of which were even signed by the “Work” singer herself.”

It was only a matter of time before Starfleet went after the Big Giant head.

Third Rock from the Sun.


.@POTUS we hope this new @rihanna track gets your green blooded heart thumping. #LLAP 🖖🏼

Nice! Obama is a fan of Trek as well.

Correction. Trek twitter account tweeted that to the president, not the president tweeting it. If you go to the @POTUS twitter page you will see nothing there. I think the social media team was hoping someone on obama’s staff would see it and tweet it


Just like your comment.

fantastic, very psycadellic and spacey, love it

Now we’re waiting for Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus to make videos for a movie titled Star Trek. What has this franchise turned into…


Like lowest common denominator popular? Popular among prison population as well? Among tattooed criminal members of drug cartels, too? Yes, let’s make the franchise accessible to everyone, at any cost.

My goodness, I am amazed at the number of Privileged Members of the True Fans Original Star Trek Country Club, opinionating about newer generations and what they might appreciate in culture. Do try to imagine what might inspire younger people, and please let go your “Star Trek Belongs Exclusively to Us” mentality. Star Trek belongs to everyone. You never know who might be inspired by it: to leave behind their hopeless feelings, to learn about astronomy and science, to learn about acting, to follow the NASA missions on their internet at home — or read Trek books or science fiction in the prison library. Please don’t stake Trek out as some kind of exclusive domain. It is not.

It’s clearly not popular with those playing with Kirk and Spock action figures while still living in their parents basement.

It’s not popular with scientists or intellectuals either.

Opinion is not fact. Also, where have YOU been? Today’s scientists are just as tattooed as any other professional, and are into contemporary music as well. So stop stereotyping.

Far from it that it “belongs” to us or anyone except those who own it. However, its didactic character is significantly left out, and power and even duty to inspire is absent in this rebooted incarnation. It’s nothing but muscles, tattooes, bar fights, yelling, and stupid dialog & situations. How insipiring is that?

I think you’re missing the point. Most Trek fans who hate this new version of Trek don’t hate the fact that they’re trying to reach a new generation. They hate the fact that they’re dumbing down the franchise and therefore actually doing a great disservice to newer generations. When I was younger, I was glad to find Trek among all the mindless entertainment offered. I would like new generations of kids to benefit from something like that too. But right now, this version of Trek is essentially more of the same mindless stuff that other action entertainment franchises are putting out. That’s the problem. And nothing else.

My reply was of course aimed at Marja, July 1, 2016 2:45 pm.

Well, yes, that’s the problem. It’s not the fact that it’s new (TNG was new and different but it wasn’t dumb, other Trek shows and movies as well) but the tendency to dumb it down and make it as pedestrian as possible.

I agree. I feel aggravated by all these dumb, snobbish and elitist comments.

@quantum47 – Re: those who have tattooes – maybe it is mostly the criminal elements of our society that decide to get tattooes now, but it certainly was NOT the case among the peoples who actually did original tattooing. In Maoridom, only chiefs and others, like their wives, were tattooed and the more tattooes you wore, the greater the mana.

In NZ, MANY people have tattooes and most of the them are NOT criminals.
Lose the ignorance.


pure bs

Yes your comment is indeed pure bs.

FYI, he or she meant the video.

Excellent video, excellent song and fittingly haunting for the Enterprises’s last voyage. That bit at the start with the enterprse warping into the unknown for the last time…sad!)

@Commander K

For those “fans” complaining about this song and video, I present exhibit A when it comes to popular music of the day in Star Trek.
Talk about cringe worthy and painful.

“Long time back when the…galaxy was newwwweeewww”! ha! He sure looked a lot different when he was lead singer for The Good Ole Boys in The Blues Brothers!

and lest we forget …
Bitter Dregs –

Yeah, both of those low points took place during the third season.
Which is a pity because they had good stories during that final year.

Gary 8.5,

Re:the third season

Yep, the same season that produced the first “Paramount” STAR TREK that forced Gene to execute the “safe copies and parallels” option he said he would in this1965 letter:

“… For the first time I think I see our particular and peculiar medium exactly for what it is. It has been and can be very good — and if someone proves to me they want me to try for that level, I gladly will. On the other hand, without that proof, I intend to aim for safe copies and parallels of existing successes — settle for doing it just two or three percent better than the next guy so that job and profits are always there, and I eat dinner every night at 6:00 p.m. with the children and have two days at home out of every seven to play horseshoes and putter in the garden. And do everything possible to move on into another medium. ” — Gene Roddenberry; excerpt from February 12,1965 letter to Mr. Alden Schwimmer of the Ashely-Famous Agency

Over the years, I’ve grown to like those cute lil’ Space Hippies.

If it helps. I thought that was awful too. I’ve never really been a big TOS fan and the third season (to me) is easily the worst.

This is gorgeous, and makes me want to watch Star Trek V again :)

Lovely, TMP-esque and so much fresher than using a 20-year-old Beastie Boys song. I hope the movie at least gives Kirk some big emotions to match the song.

Star Trek Into Darkness introduced a love interest for Kirk and didn’t even bother to have them smooch (or commiserate over their dead parents.)

I suspect this video is giving some clues to the movie…the way she seems to use tele-kenesis to lift the sand and ‘summon’ those machines might be like the ability Krall has?

I am thinking Jalyah might have those powers, she looks more like Jalyah.

On thing that is really impressive about Lin, is that he gets that then Enterprise is on of the stars of the show. I love how, with minor changes, he got the ship looking more elegant.

I just woke up to find this new article. I wondered if perhaps this song might grow on me. Well, it has. What a beautiful, fantastic video. I think I’m in love!

To all those who hate the song: At least it’s not Nicki Minaj “Starships”…

This Rihanna video debuted 3 days after the trailer and it is warping past the trailer in YouTube views.

Rihanna video: 4,509,505 views
STB # 3: 1,432,655 views

That’s just ONE way Rihanna helps Star Trek.

Good to know. But I am asking myself: How come that the trailer only has such few views? I mean the first one had 15 million, the second one around 7 and now only 1.5?
Star Wars – The Force Awakens has 93 million and Rogue One 38 million. I know you can’t compare those numbers. But 1.5 sounds like a very small number doesn’t it?


Love the video, and the music is not bad for a ‘modern’ track (my tastes tend to come to a stop around 1998, with a definite skew towards the 1970s – even though that is before my time). There is a definite Star Trek V vibe there (the dancing reminds me of Uhura and the location reminds me of the setting of the climax), but that – in my book – is no bad thing.

@ Moderators
My post, which begins,
Today 4:48 pm
I agree. I feel aggravated by all these dumb, snobbish and elitist comments.
@quantum47 – Re: those who have tattooes – maybe it is mostly…”
was in response to Marja’s comment, yet my post appears under somebody else’s post. I had clicked onto the Reply button under Marja’s post. It is rather annoying and when reading down through the posts, takes what I wrote out of context.

Could this be a glitch in the software, I wonder?

The premise by some here is that music like Rihanna’s Sledgehammer or the Beastie Boys Sabotage are not really Star Trek.

These two songs are no less Star Trek than Spock playing on a harpsichord an obscure waltz by Brahms as Kirk and Rayna danced in the episode Requiem for Methuselah (TOS), or Data playing Mozart on the violin or Riker playing Jazz on his trombone (TNG).

These are all musical styles that represent part of our (Western) culture, past and present. Now we have a newly composed song that reflects a type of music popular with many people in the present day.

To say that this can’t legitimately be an aspect Star Trek but other music can be is a misnomer.

So agree with you.