Rihanna—who confessed to being deeply in love with Star Trek since childhood so we have to believe it—released what’s being promoted as the world’s first-ever IMAX music video, “Sledgehammer,” a song from the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack.
The video, which premiered Thursday nationwide in IMAX theaters showing Legend of Tarzan (a movie I don’t need to see) resembles Star Trek, in that Rihanna is on another planet, groaning about survival and emerging from the ashes of a bad romance. In her promotional video for the movie, Rihanna uses words like “big, impactful, emotional, dramatic, haunting” to describe the song, which was written by Sia and thus sounds like it was written by Sia, sweeping and dramatically abstract. I can’t get into it, nor the video, which is boring in Rihanna standards. But it’s a visual for a movie sequel about interplanetary wars (Is that what Star Trek is?), so what should one expect. Either way, as Billboard notes, the IMAX premiere makes Rihanna just the latest black artist to at least try to turn the music video experience into something more enriching. I bet it looked big, impactful, emotional, dramatic and haunting on those humongous IMAX screens.