Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is off to a rough start on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's review embargo is now up and 57% are positive according to Rotten Tomatoes. That's a low enough score to mark the film "rotten." As of writing, the site has aggregated 116 total reviews, including 36 from top critics. That's enough for the site to form a critical consensus. That consensus reads, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion." That consensus echoes much of the online discourse about the film, which has derisively tossed around the term "fan service" in describing the film.
This number may rise or fall as more reviews come in, but it is striking nonetheless. It's a much lower score than director J.J. Abrams' previous Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens (92%). It's also lower than the polarizing second film in the sequel saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (91%). It's the second-lowest score for any live-action Star Wars movie, with only The Phantom Menace (53%) scoring lower. The animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars (18%) remains the lowest-scoring Star Wars movie overall.
ComicBook.com's Patrick Cavanaugh found the film to be flawed but, in the end, successful. In his 4-out-of-5 review of the film he writes, "Missed opportunities for ambitious storylines aside, it's hard to deny the effectiveness of much of the film. Whether it be Poe and Rey butting heads about the condition of the Millennium Falcon and Lando commenting on Chewbacca's height putting a smile on your face, Leia's attempts to instill wisdom on members of the Resistance igniting an emotional reaction due to the real-world loss of Fisher, or the conflict of following the path of who you want to be instead of being the person you're told you are evoking philosophical questions, The Rise of Skywalker offers audiences a worthy and, at times exceptional, conclusion to the end of a 40-year journey, though the various missed opportunities will surely stick with some audiences longer than the film's accomplishments."
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron's journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.
Directed by JJ Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.