Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi currently has the lowest audience score on Rotten Tomatoes of the entire Star Wars saga. Lucasfilm's second installment in their Star Wars sequel trilogy - and the long-awaited eighth chapter in the ongoing Skywalker saga - continues the story that started with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and lays the foundation for the trilogy's conclusion in Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX, but audiences may not like where the franchise is heading.
The first social media reactions to The Last Jedi surfaced late last week and promised audiences the best Star Wars film since Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, and the first batch of reviews that popped up online on Tuesday seemed to agree with that statement. After all, The Last Jedi currently sits at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes - just 1 percent lower than Empire but tied with The Force Awakens. And the critical consensus states: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for." Unfortunately, moviegoers are challenging that belief and are bringing down the film's audience score while doing it.
This morning (Friday, December 15), Star Wars: The Last Jedi's audience score sat at 60 percent, which is 33 percent lower than the film's Tomatometer score and, thus, the biggest divide between critics and audiences for a Star Wars film. As if that wasn't low enough, the audience score continues to plunge and is now at an astonishing 56 percent, thereby garnering the film the lowest Rotten Tomatoes audience score in Star Wars history.
The Last Jedi's audience score is 1 percent lower than the audience score for George Lucas' Episode II - Attack of the Clones and 3 percent lower than Lucas' Episode I - The Phantom Menace, both of which are arguably considered the worst installments in the entire saga. Of course, Johnson's film still ranks 18 percent higher than the audience score for Dave Filoni's 2008 animated film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars - but we're not counting animated/non-theatrical films for this. Otherwise, we would need to somehow account for the Star Wars: Holiday Special, too.
What's interesting about The Last Jedi's audience score is not that it's low - which is still quite shocking - but how much it differs from the critics' average score (the Tomatometer). Typically, the opposite is true: critics detest a film and audiences love it. But with The Last Jedi, apparently, there's a more tepid response to Lucasfilm's latest outing than the studio expected. After all, they did give Johnson free reign to construct a brand new Star Wars trilogy from scratch that will be unconnected to the Skywalker saga. After seeing this score, will Lucasfilm change their minds about that agreement?
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
- 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: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019