Last week, it was the fake "review" bombing of Marvel's upcoming Captain Marvel that made headlines well before anyone could have even seen the film. Now, it's Star Wars: Episode IX getting the same treatment.
J.J. Abrams' final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy doesn't even have a name yet and already there are a flurry of negative reviews on the film's Rotten Tomatoes page. Granted, there will be those who will counter "but they aren't reviews!" but the negative comments are firmly located under the "audience" tab of the "Star Wars: Episode IX Reviews" page, the same location where audience reviews will land when the film opens in theaters ten months from now.
With that clarification out of the way, the negative comments about Episode IX are a little more varied than the sexist comments lobbed at Captain Marvel – where many of those comments were the reaction of a particularly outraged group people on the internet upset that Brie Larson asked for a "more inclusive" press pool. In contrast, the Episode IX complaints contain quite a few comments expressing discontent at the general Star Wars (read: Disney) treatment of the Expanded Universe, a common complaint among many fans for quite some time. There are also plenty of comments from those who just can't get over Luke Skywalker's death in The Last Jedi, another issue that even people who loved The Last Jedi sometimes cite as being a low point of the film for them.
Many of the other fake "reviews", however, cite dislike of "new characters" -- such as Rey, Rose Tico, and Finn -- and dislike of Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy as the reason they already hate a film they've never seen. And, yes, tucked into some of those comments are sexist digs. One "review" cited Rey being able to use the Force as being a "betrayal" of Star Wars while others were angry at the idea of women having any place in the Force. Some even decided to go for a one-two punch and declare that both Captain Marvel and Star Wars: Episode IX would be financial failures and that will surely show Disney not to go against white male fans. It's worth noting that Captain Marvel is projected to have a huge opening box office.
Even for all of these negative comments, Star Wars: Episode IX still has a solid anticipation rating -- sitting at 89 percent at the time of this article's writing, though if the targeted fake review bombing intensifies that could always change. The film also ranked pretty high on many of the most-anticipated movies lists for 2019, coming in at number six on Atom Tickets' list and number three on Fandango's. It seems pretty clear that even with some people pre-emptively ready to hate, there are plenty more eager to see the film before deciding how they feel about it.
When it comes to those genuine fan reactions -- the ones that will come after people have actually seen the film when it hits theaters in December -- Abrams is already excited for them.
"It was a pretty emotional thing, but the cast and crew did an unbelievable job," Abrams told Entertainment Tonight. "I cannot wait for you to see what we got going for you."
Star Wars: Episode IX will hit theaters December 20th.
Are you looking forward to Star Wars: Episode IX? Let us know in the comments.