Something strange is going on with the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s currently sitting at 86% with 69,617 total verified reviews and has been stuck at 86% ever since it accrued 6,231 reviews.
As we reported previously, a scraped sample of 2,500 of these reviews revealed that many of the reviews are very similar and contain a short blurb that repeats the sentiment “great end to the saga” without explaining what they like about the movie.
YouTuber Sheila Allen, who scraped these 2,500 reviews and performed the original text analysis, suggested in her original video that the similarities between these short reviews point to many of them being fake.
Now Allen has scraped an additional 6,000 reviews for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker from Rotten Tomatoes and found that this strange pattern is still prevalent, even when looking at a much larger sample.
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For example, variations of the phrase “great end to the saga” appear more than 260 times in these 6,000 scraped reviews with the phrases listed below appearing in 4.3% of the reviews:
- “great way to end” appears 46 times
- “fitting end to the” appears 44 times
- “great ending to the” appears 31 times
- “good way to end” appears 20 times
- “a great end to” appears 20 times
- “good ending to the” appears 19 times
- “great ending to a” appears 17 times
- “satisfying ending to the” appears 14 times
- “satisfying conclusion to the” appears 13 times
- “a good end to” appears 12 times
- “perfect ending to the” appears 11 times
- “fitting conclusion to the” appears 9 times
- “perfect way to end” appears 9 times
As with the original analysis, many of the reviews Allen scraped for this analysis (Google Docs link) are single-sentence reviews that don’t discuss what they like about the movie and just contain a short variation of the “great end to the saga” phrase.
And based on some of the most recent verified audience reviews for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Rotten Tomatoes, which were posted after Allen conducted her analysis, this trend appears to be continuing with many short, similar reviews being posted where the reviewers don’t elaborate on what they like about the movie.
The high concentration of short, similar reviews that focus on the “great end to the saga” is very different to the pattern that can be seen in the user reviews on another popular review aggregator – Metacritic.
On Metacritic, most of the user reviews are more expansive, varied, and discuss what the reviewer liked or disliked about the movie. Reviews that contain variations of the phrase “great end to the saga” and nothing else are very hard to find.
Another difference that points to something odd happening with the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score is the fluctuations in the Metacritic User Score. Archived data shows that this score has fluctuated between 5.4 and 5.1 since the movie’s release on December 20 and that the score has changed at least five times in that period.
Seeing these regular movements in this Metacritic User Score makes it even stranger to see a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score that hasn’t moved a single percentage point since it gained over 60,000 verified audience reviews.