Rihanna Talks TREK and Recording “Sledgehammer” for STAR TREK BEYOND


International music star Rihanna, who recorded the new single “Sledgehammer” for STAR TREK BEYOND, talks a bit about her long-held love of Star Trek in this new video featurette released today by Paramount Pictures – and why she jumped at the chance to pitch in for the new film’s soundtrack.

Part of this video was shown at the May 20 BEYOND fan event at the Paramount studio lot.

  • MC

    OK, so Rihanna might actually be a Star Trek fan or she might not. I’ll take her at her word that she is.

    Even if she is though, that video could’ve been produced for literally any film. All they’d need to do is swap the clips and her shirt, because she described it in the vaguest possible terms imaginable. (Would it have killed the marketing folks to suggest mentioning a character, an episode, a concept of the series, or anything at all that is specific to the product being pitched?)

    • Shane

      She also did one of those Start Trek in 50 segments that were shown at the Star Trek event at Paramount in may.

    • Ace Stephens

      I bet she mentioned specific characters and the like and they were like, “This is just a fluff thing for the film. We don’t want to fixate on any one thing.” and only used the generic comments. So I would hardly blame her (or anyone) for that, given that it seems to suit their purposes well.

    • Vanguard

      Plus the fact the song was originally written in 2014…

  • jonahkrautter

    Frankly, all of the Rihanna hate on Facebook and other places is verging on being racist. Is it really that unbelievable that a black, immigrant female be a true Star Trek fan? Why can’t she just be taken at her word without all of the BS?

    • madmadia85

      are you surprised? the trek fandom has a bad reputation when it comes to women, especially woc. The misogyny is rampant, some dudes feel like trek is a ‘guys only’ club. Just look at the shit they say about Uhura/Zoe Saldana for ‘getting in the way’ of the original trio. Rihanna making a song for trek? blasphemy! How dare she! go away woman! Trek is not a girls thing.
      Actually, according to those people trek is just for them and their elite group of chosen ones.

      • pittrek

        Wow, so you now put even misogyny to it? Do you even know what that word means? Let me guess, you’re one of the people who think all the people who don’t like the Ghostbuster trailers are all sexists, right?

    • kadajawi

      Frankly, I don’t care if she is a fan or not. Cool that she is (though the way she spoke about it sounds like she could have talked about anything).

      I think black, immigrant females are exactly who would like Star Trek. Think Whoopi Goldberg. Not an immigrant perhaps, but TOS really appealed to her. A black woman? In space? Doing important work? Like… black… AND a woman? Unbelievable back then.

      My problem with the whole thing is that while Rihanna is a talented singer, and the song isn’t too bad, it just… doesn’t belong in a Star Trek movie? It’s just so odd. I don’t even think it works that well in the trailer.

    • James

      I avoid TrekCores FB page, it’s always full of mean-spirited comments. I like her song and thought it complemented the trailer nicely.

      • Bifash

        “I avoid TrekCores FB page, it’s always full of mean-spirited comments”.

        That’s an understatement when it comes to the “fans” on any Trek site. Many of them just love to moan about the most insignificant minutae.
        Heard them bitching about why the Kelvin Timeline should be called the Narada Timeline – I GUARANTEE if it HAD been called the Narada Timeline, these same “fans” would be bitching still.

    • Shane

      Exactly not really displaying the values of Trek, like anybody has to explain to anyone if there a fan or not that’s the problem with social media way to many trolls.

    • Archer

      Really? I have to admit, I haven’t seen any of that, but I haven’t been paying too much attention to stuff online for the past few days. I’m not a fan of Rihanna’s music so much, but I do like this song and think it works really well with the trailer.

      I will never wrap my head around people who watch a show about universal acceptance and embracing different cultures, and yet don’t have compassion and kindness as a touchstone.

    • Locutus

      Agreed. And a person doesn’t need to go to Trekkie conventions to still be a fan. As long as you appreciate many aspects of Star Trek, that can make you a fan.

      There is such a lack of appreciation these days amongst even the so-called “fans.” I get it on the one hand if you love what’s come before and hate to see it change, but there is so much to enjoy in the new movies, I wish some fans just had more flexibility. As far as “movie”-Trek goes, the last two movies did a fine job. Some imperfections yes, but all around better than many Trek films. And the third looks most promising!

      Can’t wait to see Star Trek on TV again though. That is where it will truly “shine bright like a diamond!”

    • TrekRules

      I have no problem with her being a Trek fan – Trek fans come in many varieties so if she says she is one, then i take it at face value. I still think she is a piece of trash though and it has nothing to do with her race.

    • pittrek

      Stop that racism BS. I read the discussion of FB on the official channel and I never read there any racist comment, only people accusing other people who had a different opinion of being racist.

      People have one problem with the song – it’s a stupid pop song. Stupid pop songs don’t belong to Star Trek. Star Trek has always had (and always SHOULD have) a big orchestral score. Two previous movies had Beastie Boys songs and people also thought they’re inappropriate and I agree, even though I’m a BB fan. Star Trek 4 had a punk song but it was a part of a joke.

      • Binyamin Koretz

        I liked it way better than Beyond Antares

        • pittrek

          I had to actually google for “Beyond Antares” 🙂 It’s time for rewatching TOS, thanks for the tip 🙂 And I actually think Nichelle’s singing is beautiful

  • scotchyscotchscotch

    @Trekcore staff do you have access to her recorded video from the Paramount event? I don’t get all the backlash here, she’s a fan!

    • The embedded video above is Paramount’s release of the Rihanna interview; we don’t have anything else available. Sorry!

    • Ace Stephens

      Sadly, it seems some feel the need to distinguish fans based on perceived “class” or “degree” or whatever. “You can’t name the ______s on the ______ in episode ___ of season ___? …You’re not a real fan.” It’s sad.

  • madmadia85

    cool that she is a fan.

    I don’t think she needed to be a trek fan to have her song linked to the movie, though.
    I just don’t like this obsession that someone must be a trek fan. It’s not like you need to get this ‘certificate’ otherwise your art is not valid. She’s a singer and her song is featured in a movie, it’s a markerting strategy to bring in more people to the cinema.

    • kadajawi

      Exactly. JJ is a Star Wars fan, and you can see it in his movies. I don’t think he was the best match for Star Trek, though he is a very talented director. Nicholas Meyer always said he wasn’t a Star Trek fan, but he did two of the best Star Trek movies. His sensibilities are different, he brought them to the movies and it worked very well.

      • madmadia85

        Personally, I like JJ’ trek more than his star wars for example and one could argue that putting the reboot of an old product in the hands of fanboys with nostalgia might be the opposite of a good idea for..anything. At least if you want to give a new life to the thing and are given the hard task of trying to make it interesting to a wider audience who might reasonably find our beloved old thing outdated for our time.
        In fact, I’m concerned that Lin and Pegg were so much focused in trying to desperately get the approval of people like the ‘fans’ mentioned in comments above (people who will never like the reboot regardless, of that one can be certain like few things in life), that they maybe forgot about the fans who like these movies already (old and new fans) and basically the audience that made them successful enough we got to movie n.3 and we are still talking about a reboot.

  • Bifash

    The song, in conjuction with the trailer reminds me of the old days when big blockbusters were accompanied by big songs ( I’m thinking Batman Forever, the Bond movies, etc. ).

    The song by Rihanna ia actually growing on me. I did like Bo Bryce’s one for the last Star Trek movie too:

  • Trent

    Nice t hear she is a fan

    Still I really can’t be the only one ,

    who thinks the song should be removed can I ?

    I mean come on
    the lyrics unintentional obviously but

    I hit a wall,

    I’m bracing for the pain and I am letting go

    lying on the floor cold and lifeless
    In a film we know will have a dedication to Anton Yelchin
    who was hit into a wall pinned and died.
    Not good form

    • Ace Stephens

      Bad form? I generally consider it bad form to distort art for the purposes of sentiment unrelated to the art. Which, to me, would include conflating the lyrics of something with a real-life event not directly related to the lyrics’ formation in a manner meant to reduce, belittle, omit, etc. those lyrics “by-association” with something not really associated.

      • Trent

        It is called being appropriate and respectful.
        So that’s a NO, for you.

        • Ace Stephens

          It’s inappropriate and disrespectful to project concerns unrelated to a work of art onto it in order to grandstand. So I would argue that your sentiment is “out-of-line.”

          • Trent

            Well it isn’t unrelated ,the actor died and your singing about a similar event to how he died
            I would argue bad form, and it is . “out-of-line.”
            I guess we must agreed to disagree.

          • Ace Stephens

            It is not a very “similar event” at all except through coincidence and generality of vagur wording. If one stops imposing one’s own narrow fixation or context (surrounding that event) onto the work, the song does not appear directly correlated in any form. Which makes one’s association the “distasteful” (or “troubling” or similar) aspect rather than the work. It seems many (particularly in modern times) prefer to lay responsibility for these sorts of things onto others when it is their own thinking (often projection/imposition/etc. of context) which has caused the issue. I simply do not mistake the context of the song, film, performance, event, etc. for “each other” and therefore do not struggle with this.

            For those who do, I would suggest that they take responsibility for their own interpretations of things.

          • Trent

            Your a Lawyer right ?

            or you should be .
            I guess we must agreed to disagree

            Take care

          • Tone

            There are a small handful like him that comment on TrekCore stuff. It’s nearly all fake outrage, and deliberate juxtaposition against others opinions. Kind of like a soft troll. Just ignore, and don’t answer them.

  • hope

    What would it take for us Trekkers who post online to embody the ideals of Trek?

  • Martin

    I really like the song by Rihanna, every word she says in the song is dedicated to the story of the film and sadly it’s also dedicated to the death of Anton Yelchin.

    • Vanguard

      That’s funny because the song was written back in 2014. So every word dedicated to the story and Yelchin’s death? Not so much.

      • Fctiger

        Not to mention she didn’t even write the song. Someone else did.

        That said its still a nice song but let’s not pretend its anything more than a marketing push for the film, nothing more, nothing less. Still it goes great with the film.

      • Martin

        I didn’t mean it that way, the lyrics in the song still match the story “I hit a wall” as the enterprise is attacked and destroyed and crashed on a planet, then kirk “never felt so low”. “there was a pool of salted crimes, what could I do to change your mind” as in the crew was taken by the villain krall what could kirk do to change his mind. “nothing”. Unfortunately Anton Yelchin also “hit a wall” with his car accident and now “were bracing the pain and letting go”

      • tony

        Brilliant song. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Sia + Rihanna. Chilling to me how fitting the lyrics are in the horrific wake of losing Anton Yelchin.

        • MR

          yeah he got smashed by car and he hit a wall and the lyrics is saying all what happen to him 8 days ago illuminati just sacrificing people RIP to him, The cast of Star Trek said this song helped them cope with antons death. RIP Helmsman Checkov AKA Admiral Anton.

  • Cygnus-X1

    Couldn’t even come up with an original title for the song.

    It seems symptomatic of the dearth of creativity at the core of this movie.

    • Vanguard

      Stop being racist and misogynistic Cygnus. And racily misogynistic.

      Now I’ll repeat those words some more until they lose all meaning.

  • SciFiBrony

    I posted this in the comments of the video proper, but I’ll repeat it here.

    I’m not gonna weigh in on whether or not I think there’s legitimacy to this, BUT in fairness to the doubters, of all the celebrity “I love Star Trek” stories, this is the most generic, to a point where, you can swap out the words Star Trek with virtually any other franchise/series and nothing will change. Not even a mention of what her first series was, WHICH series her dad introduced her to, or her favorite captain. I mean Whoopi Goldberg has that infamous story of her running to her mother in excitement to tell her about Uhura.

    • Ace Stephens

      They would be highly unlikely to use a “fluff piece” video for Star Trek Beyond to fixate on specific characters or situations which would negate or distract from the immediate product being marketed.

      • SciFiBrony

        True, but it’s so generic that other than the footage, there’s nothing to specifically tie it in to the movie it’s promoting either.

        • Ace Stephens

          All the footage they’re showing does tie it in though and they’re relying on people going, “Oh, Rihanna!” So it’s meant to draw in people who like Rihanna because those of us here are already sold (if we ever will be). So they don’t need a distraction like showing footage from something that’s fifty years old that will make people who want to see the hip, cool, new things (“like Rihanna might be into”) go, “Eugh. Nevermind.”

          • SciFiBrony

            No, my point is what she’s SAYING is so generic that it could potentially be applied to almost ANYTHING. My point wasn’t necessarily “I want back story” or “I want more about the history of Star Trek” My point was it needed SOMETHING that conveys how much Star Trek specifically means to her, and those were just examples of how that could have been done. But what she says is super generic. You could replace the words Star Trek with James Bond and notice nothing different going by the interview itself.

          • Ace Stephens

            My point was it needed SOMETHING that conveys how much Star Trek specifically means to her…

            Why? It’s meant to get people who don’t know what is going on with Star Trek to go, “Rihanna likes it? Oh.” and pay attention and see the clips and see the movie. It’s attempting to promote the film through Rihanna, rather obviously. Not through anything particularly specific about what she liked – just that “See? She likes it.”

            But what she says is super generic.

            I agree but she could have listed literally a half-dozen very specific things (for all we know, she did) and they wouldn’t have put them in this video because that’s not the point of this piece of marketing material.

          • Fctiger

            This is a great point. Let’s say for instance it was Deep Space 9 her dad watched and got her to watch no way would that make it on this video. Its not really about Star Trek the brand its about Beyond the product so they want her to be generic as possible anyway. Its not for ‘us’ its for Rhianna fans who probably don’t watch these films but maybe give it a chance because she likes it.

            I’m not doubting she likes Star Trek, she probably does but most likely on a more casual level and probably not the type who watches like fan boys so its no need to go into big details about it. She likes Star Trek, think its cool, what more do you need?

  • RaveOnEd

    I’d like to find one of those shirts! I like it!