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‘Rise of Skywalker’ ties ‘Phantom Menace’ as the worst-reviewed ‘Star Wars’ movie ever

Published Jan 13th, 2020 3:01PM EST
The Rise of Skywalker
Image: Disney

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If you thought the critical reaction to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might even out, you would have been sorely mistaken. As of Monday morning, with 462 reviews to its name, the final episode of the Skywalker saga has a rather dismal score of 53% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Rise of Skywalker is now tied with Phantom Menace as the worst-reviewed Star Wars movie on record, and the only two with “rotten” ratings.

Personally, I find Rotten Tomatoes to be a useful tool when it comes to deciding whether or not to spend $15+ on a movie ticket to see a movie I might not have seen otherwise. Parasite’s 99% score certainly helped push me toward seeing it, and it’s my favorite movie of the year by a mile. Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the be-all-end-all, but for critics to be as down on Rise of Skywalker as they were on everyone’s least favorite Star Wars movie is notable.

In case you’re curious, here are the Tomatometer scores of every live-action Star Wars movie to date:

  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back: 94%
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens: 93%
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope: 93%
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi: 91%
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: 83%
  • Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi: 82%
  • Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: 80%
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: 70%
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: 65%
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: 53%
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace: 53%

It’s worth pointing out that while The Last Jedi is one of the highest-rated Star Wars movies by critics, it’s also the lowest rated by the site’s audience score at 43%. Similarly, The Rise of Skywalker has a respectable 86% audience score, which is presumably in response to the movie basically undoing or ignoring everything that The Last Jedi set up. The tension internally (within Disney) and externally (from the fans) was palpable throughout this entire sequel trilogy, and it’s easy to see why Disney is pumping the brakes on Star Wars movies for now.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.