RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... The Rise of Skywalker

One year on, we're braving the Internet to ask: Was Abrams' trilogy closer a messy patchwork of fan-service (and apologies) or a satisfying crescendo (and corrective)?

by | December 3, 2020 | Comments

Rise of Skywalker

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Lucasfilm)

Remember when J.J. Abrams closed out the universally beloved, not-controversial-at-all Star Wars sequel trilogy with the universally beloved, not-controversial-at-all Rise of Skywalker

Yeah, that isn’t quite how the catch-up scroll reads on the most recent Star Wars flicks. Instead, the trilogy that began with an almost unanimously adored bang in The Force Awakens had divided and inflamed the fanbase by the time it ended. Depending on which side of the chasm you sat, that ending either provided a fantastic twist and return to form, or it was a total betrayal of promising new story threads – and a certain middle film’s director.

In the latest edition of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes), we are traveling to a controversial title not so far, far away, and asking who got it right when it comes to The Rise of Skywalker: The fans, who awarded it an 86% Audience Score, or the critics, whose reviews put it at 51% on the Tomatometer – the lowest of all live-action Star Wars movies.

To assist hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley as they pick up lightsabers and choose sides – or, you know, give nuanced thoughts in both directions – is Nerdist’s Dan Casey, who’s such an enormous Star Wars fan that he wrote the book on it… literally. (Well, at least one book: 100 Things Star Wars Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die). Will the trio decide that Rise of Skywalker rose to the occasion? Or will they, like so many critics, decide that no amount of Jedi mind tricks can hide a messy story and damaging fan service?

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Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.


Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.


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