As we’ve mentioned before, the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t always get it right when it comes to scoring films. A plethora of movies from the 90s alone deserve more than a “rotten” rating just because they were an integral part of people’s childhoods.
Now, RT — which creates scores based off aggregated critic reviews from other publications — has given the early verdict for the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie, and the rating is less than satisfactory.
They gave the movie a 59% as of Wednesday afternoon, or in other words a “rotten” score.
This might come as a surprise to some Star Wars fans considering the previous two movies in the trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), received a 93% and a 91% respectively. In other words, they’re happily “Certified FRESH.”
The original Star Wars trilogy, which kicked off in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and ended with Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), also received passing ratings with The Empire Strikes Back (1980) receiving the highest rating at 94%.
The late 90s/early 2000s Star Wars trilogy didn’t fare as well on average. The 1999 movie Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace received a 53%. However, things got better over time with Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) receiving a 65%, which is considered “FRESH,” and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith receiving a “Certified FRESH” at 80%.
So why the low rating for The Rise of Skywalker, especially when it’s directed by acclaimed blockbuster filmmaker J.J. Abrams (who was also behind Mission: Impossible 3, Star Trek, and The Force Awakens). Without giving any spoilers, some critics described The Rise of Skywalker as “terribly wrong,” “cartoonish and absurd,” or a “complicated blend of contradictions.”
Despite the icy reviews, does that mean The Rise of Skywalker is a completely terrible movie at 59 percent. It’s only one percent away from 60% as of Wednesday afternoon and has the possibility to climb over the weekend. Then it’ll have a “FRESH” rating. Critics who enjoyed the movie said it “had just enough thrills to satisfy fans” and “was really, really good fun.”
It seems ultimately, your commitment to the franchise is going to determine whether you’ll see the movie or not. You can go by the critics if you’re not that invested and want to save money, or you can take the risk of seeing the movie and deciding for yourself.
May the force be with you.
Until then, you can peep Twitter’s thoughts on the Rotten Tomatoes rating below.