Expectations for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were pretty high. The film was set to close out the Skywalker Saga, but the conclusion to the story didn’t sit too well with critics. Now, the final Rotten Tomatoes tally has come in, and it looks like The Rise of Skywalker is the worst-reviewed Star Wars movie ever, sitting at 52%, one percent lower than Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Does this mean that The Rise of Skywalker is objectively the worst Star Wars movie? Of course not. Art doesn’t work that way. If you liked The Rise of Skywalker, then the Rotten Tomatoes score shouldn’t do anything to change that. All Rotten Tomatoes does is try to put together a score based on critical consensus. And even this score is admittedly flawed since it reduces everything to a “fresh”/”rotten” binary so a film with a “C” rating is just as rotten as a film with an “F” rating.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that word-of-mouth on Rise of Skywalker was also lukewarm. while it only took 12 days for The Force Awakens to cross $1 billion worldwide and 19 days for The Last Jedi to hit that mark, it took 26 days for The Rise of Skywalker make it to $1 billion.
These tepid reactions should give Disney pause on how they wish to proceed with the Star Wars saga. Letting the franchise cool for a bit seems like a prudent decision with the next Star Wars movie not due out until 2022. In the meantime, the brand will stay alive with the fan-service provided by The Mandalorian, but in terms of telling new stories, Disney needs to start thinking about whether there’s room to take chances with Star Wars or if they only want to play to the faithful.
For a rundown of how all the Star Wars movies compare by Rotten Tomatoes score, click here.