The Acolyte's Low Rotten Tomatoes Shows Star Wars Fans At Their Worst

By Klein Felt Posted:
The Acolyte Rotten Tomatoes

The Acolyte's low Rotten Tomato score has become a flashpoint for conflict in an ever-divided Star Wars fanbase. 

Leslye Headland's Disney+ Star Wars murder mystery is halfway through its streaming run, telling the first-ever live-action story set in the High Republic era of the timeline. 

Leading into the series, anticipation was high. Marketing teased a brutal and mind-bending tale set within a time period that a large swath of fans had not seen on-screen before (set roughly 100 years before the Prequels). 

However, its reception has been mixed, to say the least, and it is tearing Star Wars fans apart.

Throwing Tomatoes at The Acolyte

The Acolyte's Rotten Tomatoes Score
Rotten Tomatoes

Since its debut in early June, The Acolyte has become a controversial topic amongst Star Wars fans, and its Rotten Tomato score is a perfect distillation of that division. 

As of the time of this report, The Acolyte sits at a respectable 85% Critics Score on Rotten Tomatoes. That is in stark contrast, though, to its 13% Audience Score. 

Leslye Headland's streaming series has seemingly brushed a certain contingent of Star Wars fans the wrong way, and they are taking out their frustrations on the review aggregator.

While The Acolyte has its flaws, there is simply no way it is 13%-on-Rotten- Tomatoes-levels of bad. 

That would put it as the lowest-rated Star Wars project ever, sitting nearly 30% lower than the Audience Score of the oft-maligned Last Jedi.

What is likely happening here is the latest example of a trend that has sadly plagued Hollywood as of late. 

The incredibly low Rotten Tomato score likely is a case of bad actors review-bombing the series for its diverse cast, representation of people other than straight white men (both on and off-screen), and exploration of the Star Wars canon never seen on-screen before. 

The Acolyte is led by a woman of color in Amandla Stenberg's Osha/Mae. The rest of its cast is rounded out by other diverse people like Yord's Charlie Bennett and Master Sol's Lee Jung-Jae. 

It also prominently features a lesbian relationship at the heart of its story between Ohsa and Mae's mothers and was created by Headland - a woman who identifies as a member of the queer community. 

The inclusion of these diverse elements has long been the subject of attacks by bigoted, close-minded individuals who think they cannot connect to something on-screen because they do not look like or live like the characters they are watching. 

This, compounded with new explorations of the Force and playing with the Star Wars canon in new and interesting ways, makes The Acolyte a lightning rod for the most controversial members of the Star Wars community. 

This is not a new thing either. Without generalizing, Star Wars fans have long been known as some of the most vitriolic and toxic people in franchise entertainment. 

Actors have even gone as to say as such, with stars like Simon Pegg calling the Star Wars fandom "the most toxic" out there. 

It is largely these sorts of 'toxic' people who are responsible for the incredibly low Rotten Tomatoes score on The Acolyte.

And because the score is so low, it is being thrown in other fans' faces in this ongoing war amongst the Star Wars faithful. 

The Acolyte Starts a Star War Online

The incredibly low Rotten Tomato score for The Acolyte has brought out the worst of the Star Wars community on both sides.

Not only are those who cannot stand the series using it to justify their distasteful opinions, but it has also brought out those who are willing to accept anything Star Wars without question. 

These two sides have created a divide among Star Wars fans. A divide in which more and more toxic, vitriolic, and vile hate is passed back and forth every day from side to side.

According to the internet, you either love The Acolyte or you hate The Acolyte. And if you find yourself on the opposite side of that chasm, that means you are the enemy. 

With this approach, all sense of nuance has been lost. 

This a problem that has been plaguing not just the Star Wars universe, but culture as a whole in the last few years. 

The idea of like and dislike has been turned into a binary decision as opposed to the sliding scale it should be. 

It is okay to like The Acolyte and see it may have some flaws, just as much as it is okay to dislike The Acolyte while appreciating elements like its casting, story, or overall world. 

This vast divide between the two sides of those who call themselves Star Wars fans is what is wrong with modern media. 

Reacting to a piece of art is not an on/off switch. It is a dial with myriad shades of gray between the white and black on either side. 

And it is those shades of gray that occupy the space between the two extremes that are where the most interesting conversations can happen. 

Without them, fans are watering down the critical process, and turning their experience of media consumption into a simple question of "Was it the worst thing ever, or was it the best thing ever?" 

Living in the middle ground allows for proper insightful discourse, as opposed to the lobbing of insults or spewing of hate speech that the Star Wars fandom has devolved into, especially when it comes to the franchise's latest streaming series. 

The Acolyte is now streaming on Disney+. 

Read more about The Acolyte:

The Acolyte's Ki Adi Mundi Age Controversy Explained

Full Cast of The Acolyte Episode 3 - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos)

Star Wars: The Acolyte Cancellation Speculation Explained

Star Wars: The Acolyte Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

- In This Article: The Acolyte
Release Date
June 04, 2024
Amandla Stenberg
Dafne Keen
Jodie Turner-Smith
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.