Review accreditation website Rotten Tomatoes is denying claims that the tumbling Star Wars: The Last Jedi user score has been fixed to make the film look worse.
The validity of The Last Jedi's user score has been called into question, based on the idea that fans dissatisfied with the film have been actively voting down its rating in order to create the illusion of a larger critic vs. fan reaction gap. With the discussion now a few days old and carrying on, Rotten Tomatoes has now formally weighed in on the issue.
Rotten Tomatoes has categorically denied that there is any miscalculations in the site's Audience Score of 54% for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. According to Dana Benson, Vice President of Communications at Rotten Tomatoes' parent company Fandango, it just isn't possible to hoodwink RT. Here is what Benson offered Forbes on the matter:
“We have several teams of security, network, and social database experts who constantly monitor reviews and ratings to ensure that they are genuine. They haven’t seen anything unusual with The Last Jedi, except that there has been an uptick in the number of written user reviews submitted. Aside from that, everything is normal and we don’t see any unusual activity. We looked at The Last Jedi compared to other blockbusters and it has been consistent with those past films.”
It is interesting that Benson mentions that more users are getting on their keyboards to write reviews this time around. Does this just show that we are feeling more passionate about The Last Jedi?
Benson went on to reiterate that the idea of bots manipulating scores is just hearsay, but when pushed on why there is such a gap between the critics and audience scores for The Last Jedi (39 points currently), she said she couldn't answer it:
“I can’t explain why there’s such a disparity. How we take this is that people are super passionate about this movie. On the positive side, our site is popular, and it has become an important platform for debate and discussion."
Some longtime Star Wars fans blasted J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens as a cheap imitation of A New Hope, but no one expected there to be such backlash against The Last Jedi. Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard apparently loved the movie, but even fellow experts like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards have pointed out some of its flaws.
With debates raging on about The Last Jedi, you can see how a completely average score might come out the woodwork. Perhaps because it was the least Star Wars film out of the whole Skywalker saga, Johnson's brave move to try something different may not have paid off how he expected. Isn't that the whole point of going to the movies though? To make your own decision and spark debate around the watercooler? At the end of the day, are you going to listen to some soapbox fanboy or sit through the story of sabers and Sith for yourself? The choice is yours!
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019