As far as Star Wars films go, there has never been one quite so divisive among fans as Episode VIII, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At least, that’s how it seems when taking a peek at the film’s audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
While the latest instalment in the series has earned a “Certified Fresh” rating from critics with a score of 92 per cent, its audience score sits at 54 per cent. That represents one of the greatest discrepancies between critics and fans in Rotten Tomatoes’ history. Well, there appears to be an explanation as to how this happened.
On Wednesday, the Huffington Post reported that a so-called “alt-right” Facebook group called Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys has claimed ownership for tanking The Last Jedi‘s audience score. In an email exchange with the group’s moderator, he told the Huff Post that they used bots to attack the rating. The reasons for doing so, well, they’re rather pathetic.
The group didn’t like that the film was so inclusive, featuring women in more prominent roles than any Star Wars film before. They also took issues with Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron character being a “victim of the anti-mansplaining movement,” as well as both Dameron and Mark Hammill’s Luke Skywalker at risk of “turn[ing] gay.”
Thousands of angry Star Wars fans have signed a petition asking for the Rian Johnson-directed film to be removed from the saga’s official canon. Yes, there are actually nerds of this magnitude in existence. Johnson, for his part, has taken the criticism in-stride, although he has admitted it stings a little bit.
The Down With Disney moderator told the Huff Post that he’s tired of Hollywood’s “feminist agenda.”
“Regarding female heroes: Did you not see everything that came out of Ghostbusters? That is why,” he said. “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.”
Why are we not surprised?