Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released last week, and while most critics agree it’s a great movie, its Rotten Tomatoes score was a little wonky. At the time of this writing, the film has a 92 percent on the Tomatometer, which reflects an aggregation of the critics’ overwhelmingly positive reviews. However, the movie’s audience score, which takes into consideration the public consensus of the movie as opined online, is a pretty dismal 54 percent. Of course, The Last Jedi opened to considerable controversy, but even so, such a low audience score clashes with its $200 million box office earnings.
Now an alt-right internet group named "Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys" has claimed responsibility for an organized attack of negative reviews in an attempt to...well, to make the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score low. A moderator for the group readily responded to a message from the HuffPost, and explained that the reason behind the attack stems from a growing dislike of the entire Star Wars franchise, particularly the introduction of more female characters. The moderator believes that men need to be “reinstated as rulers of society.”
“Did you not see everything that came out of Ghostbusters? That is why. I’m sick and tired of men being portrayed as idiots. There was a time we ruled society and I want to see that again. That is why I voted for Donald Trump,” the moderator said.
The group organized a bot that would flood Rotten Tomatoes with reviews of the movie. They even went so far as to include some positive reviews so their “scent could be thrown off,” but the bot was not as efficient as they hoped. Some of the reviews intended for The Last Jedi ended up on the page for the new Guillermo Del Toro film, The Shape of Water.
“There were supposed to be," the salty moderator seethed, "a trilogy of books and then some after set in the Legends canon. But [Lucasfilm executives] Kathleen Kennedy and Pablo Hidalgo wanted to pursue their own feminist agenda." He later went on: "I was never going to like The Last Jedi anyway because [it] erases everything the Extended Universe ever did.”
He specifically named Poe, played by Oscar Isaac in the film, as a “victim of the anti-mansplaining movement” and also expressed disgust at the relationship between Poe and Luke Skywalker. He claims they are “in danger of being turn[ed] gay."
Jeff Voris, the vice president of Rotten Tomatoes, believes the moderator is only talking a big game and that his “campaign” might not have had the effect he claims it did. “These things happen from time to time where somebody opportunistically seizes on a moment and says, ‘Oh, that thing? Yeah, I did that,’” Voris told HuffPost. This mindset is in keeping with yesterday's report by Rotten Tomatoes that denied the film’s score was hacked.
At the same time, though, Voris said the reviews mistakenly posted on The Shape of Water page are indeed confusing, but blames it on a fault in the website’s design that makes it easy for people to send in a review for the wrong movie. He says the site’s tech team is working on a solution for that. He adds that they take the situation “very seriously” and that “to the best of our investigation so far this looks like legitimate user behavior.”