The Acolyte is getting review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes by angry fanboys

Soooo, who’s watching Disney+’s newest Star Wars series, The Acolyte? We are! I didn’t do much prep going into it and have found myself really liking it so far. The Acolyte, which is set around 100 years before the Skywalker saga begins in The Phantom Menace, follows a Jedi Master and former Padawan investigating a series of crimes that will “pit [him] against a figure from his past.” It’s been heavily implied that this series was going to show the beginning of the end of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Dark Side. I was really intrigued by the premise when it was first announced, and I know I wasn’t the only one. The Acolyte also had the highest opening day viewers for a Disney+ show so far this year.

Of course, right on cue, the whiny fanboys are at it again. They screamed and cried before the series even debuted, taking issue with its creator, Leslye Headland, who also happened to create one of the best shows of the last decade, Russian Doll. According to these crybabies, Headland, who is married to actress Rebecca Henderson (Russian Doll’s Lizzy), has set out to ruin Star Wars by making it “woke” and pushing an LGBTQ+ agenda. As Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy told the NY Times, “Because of the fan base being so male dominated, they sometimes get attacked in ways that can be quite personal.” These so-called fans are so emotional that they’ve orchestrated a campaign to review bomb The Acolyte on Rotten Tomatoes.

In spite of a favorable response from critics, The Acolyte is currently being review-bombed on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The Disney era of Star Wars has hardly been an uncontroversial one, with the fandom dividing in the aftermath of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Those divisions remain to this day, as has been proven with The Acolyte. Showrunner Leslye Headland has proved especially controversial, and there’s been a vocal backlash against the Star Wars TV show from certain parts of the fandom.

This has continued with the release of The Acolyte premiere on Disney+. At time of writing, The Acolyte has an audience score of just 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while the show has a user score of 4.1 on Metacritic. Looking at the actual reviews, there’s evidence of a review bombing campaign; many appear to be AI-generated, consisting only of basic plot synopses. A surprising number of half-star reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are from brand-new accounts, another indicator of a review-bombing campaign.

The Star Wars fandom has always been a divided and divisive one, but it’s become worse over the last few years, with a portion objecting to what they perceive as “wokeness” in the Disney era. This even resulted in a South Park parody of Star Wars, declaring that everything was the fault of Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy. The Acolyte is headed by a lesbian showrunner, and stars female and Asian leads, meaning it was always going to be controversial with this part of the fandom.

The campaign against The Acolyte has hardly been in good faith, with many quotes pulled out of context on social media. When star Dafne Keen discussed the ambition to produce fight choreography as good as that of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, it was seen as an insult to the prequels rather than proof of how highly they were held by the creative team. Kennedy and Headland addressed The Acolyte backlash ahead of their show’s release, calling out what they perceive as racism and sexism.

It’s important to note there are probably genuine criticisms amid the review bombing, drowned out by the campaign. Some critics have called out pacing and dialogue problems, and those could well pose a problem to members of the audience as well, resulting in negative reviews. Ironically, the review bombing campaign means real dissatisfaction is impossible to evaluate, while those who loved The Acolyte wind up on the defensive. It’s a self-defeating strategy, because it makes it easier to tune out any criticism as part of the campaign.

[From Screen Rant]

This is why it’s stupid to put so much weight and copy into what user-led review sites like Rotten Tomatoes say. It’s just another way for the worst people in any fandom to game the system. And neither Disney nor The Acolyte’s cast and crew should have to go on the “defensive” at all. Why on earth would the cast and crew waste their breath on bots and racist incels? We get it, they don’t like women, POC, LGBTQ, or anyone who actually wants to bring the Star Wars series forward as actors and showrunners. They’re so threatened that people who aren’t “them” are also into Star Wars, and refuse to believe that they always have been.

Anyway, F them. I’m still so mad at how terribly they treated Kelly Marie Tran, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley and at how awful The Rise of Skywalker was thanks to these jackasses. Star Wars isn’t some cult nerd property. These POSes don’t own it and the franchise certainly doesn’t need their sorry selves. Rotten Tomatoes needs to come up with a credible verification system that makes coordinated attacks like this tougher to pull off.

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41 Responses to “The Acolyte is getting review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes by angry fanboys”

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  1. ncboudicca says:

    The Acolyte has been good so far. I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet. Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung-Jae are very watchable and they’ve got a pretty good mystery (really 2 mysteries, by my count) story going.

    I’m so sick of the Joe Roganverse fan overlap with Star Wars. The very worst of the fandom.

    • Acolytebetrash says:

      Okay so you openly support racism then. The main actress is a racist pos.
      As for most fans, there mad because what they are doing in the lore of acolyte retroactively affects the prequel trilogy and Anakin and basically says oh he isn’t the chosen one anyone can make a force baby.
      You just like it because it panders to you.

    • goofpuff says:

      @Acolytebetrash who cares if Anakin isn’t the only chosen one? There are thousands and thousands of years with the Jedi (in its various forms) in the history of that Galaxy. Trillions of inhabitants, and only Anakin is allowed to be the jedi hero in every single star wars story?

      That smacks more of racism and sexism that anything else I hear.

      The galaxy expands if you explore all the different facets and possibilities. It contracts and becomes stale if you only allow a narrow interpretation of what is millions of planets/culture/species.

      • Pulplove says:

        @ alibeebee, this poster is referring to Amandla Stenberg who plays adult Mae/Osha. Several YT channels slander Amandla by misquoting comments she made regarding “The Hate U Give” in 2018. They’re branding her “a racist” who “attacks white people” solely to have another reason to trash the series.

        @goofpuff, well said and I agree.

    • Christopher Anderson says:

      It’s just lazy and insulting to claim people are “review bombing” this terrible show. It’s lazy to claim that the bad reviews are due to misogyny or racism. I think this will become more clear to you when this show ultimately fails. If there was ever a real life display of the classic meme “DO NOT WANT” . . . this is it. I gave it a chance and was mildly surprised because my expectations were so low but after Ep 3 I am done. I guess you have to be a “TRUE” Star Wars fan to understand the absolute hate there is for this show. And let’s quit with all the “it’s about time women are a part of Star Wars” foolishness. I don’t know if these people are aware but there are NUMEROUS long time beloved “female” characters in Star Wars starting with Princess Leia, who was praised at the time for breaking the mold on female characters. There are also many POC characters that have been loved for decades. The last Star Wars live action show Ahsoka featured a pretty much all female cast and I loved it. Ahsoka is one of my favorite characters. Mon Mothma, Bo-Katan, Fennec Shand . . . the list is long and ever expanding. That said this show is GARBAGE and has nothing positive to add to anything. It’s a disaster.

  2. Water Lilly says:

    Unapologetic Star Wars fan-girl here, and i am loving it. Jodie Turner-Smith is a goddess.

    • borgqueen says:

      Jodie Turner Smith was AMAZING. I would have loved to see more of her.

      Who watches a show just so they can bash it? I will never understand Star Wars racist fans. Amandla starred in a movie that saw her family member get killed at the hands of racist people and Amandla is the one who is branded as racist when she talks about racism. smh @ acolytebtrash.

  3. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    Our family is loving this show. That said, we are a bunch of woke queer leftists who are ruining Star Wars, so, we’re biased and should not be trusted.

  4. Sarah says:

    My son and husband are super into it. They are big Star Wars fans and loved all the universe expansion.

  5. Maida says:

    It’s just Gamergate over and over again.
    Angry, entitled fanboys attacking women and anyone who’s not white and straight.
    So incredibly tiresome.

  6. MsIam says:

    These toxic”fandoms” are turning me off anything Star Wars or Marvel. Its like MAGA on steroids and they don’t just limit their toxicity to their own precious franchises either. They come over and pollute the comments on anything centered on women, people of color, etc. Its got a lot of Hollywood running scared.

  7. Flower says:

    The Andrew Tate aligned gamers in their basements will get over it.

  8. bisynaptic says:

    George Lucas could /should put a stop to this. His “fans“, who—like the boy-fans of the Star Trek series, don’t realize that their revered franchise is not a celebration of male authoritarianism—are going to destroy his legacy.

  9. TN Democrat says:

    This has happened across the board with all entertainment for a long time. Any books/movies/TV shows featuring anyone other than stale white men gets methodically savaged and content featuring dull white men gets elevated. IMDB and good reads are particularly compromised. Books are being review bombed years before anyone has a copy to read because the author is gay/trans, female or a poc. Good quality shows/movies are trashed because of diverse casts. Nothing on the net can be truly trusted.

  10. Digital Unicorn says:

    The SW fanbase has ALWAYS been a place full of toxic masculinity – the issue was Lucas pandered to them for years (those prequel movies for example). Disney to give them credit stopped pandering to them when they started doing the web serials – the movies def pandered to them (esp Rise of Skywalker – which was just awful) but I think Disney were taken by surprise at that racial backlash that some of the cast experienced – John Boyega and Kellie-Marie Tran in particular.

    If they want to leave the franchise – they won’t be missed and can lock the door behind them. Don’t let them ruin the franchise.

  11. Mia4s says:

    That’s a good point about the disingenuous right wing nonsense drowning out any legit criticism. To be honest? I’m not loving it. It’s flat, visually just OK, and maybe I was spoiled by Andor, but the writing is a snooze. I’ve seen a few other reviews express the same but…quietly. It’s the same thing that happened with Captain Marvel. I didn’t think that was a very good movie at all. But bit my tongue because of who that could group me in with.

    Ironically the best thing the frothing at the mouth fanboys could do would be ignore the entire thing. But then they would lose money on the grift.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      To me the plot is a bit same old – jedi master meets someone from his past, twins born of the force … however it has a great cast who are really selling it. Am hopefully it gets better as the series goes on.

      It has a lot to live up to when you compare it to Andor, Obi Wan Kenobie and Ashoka. Boba Fett started out well but it kinda lost itself halfway – same with The Mandalorian (as much as I love it).

      I’d also love to them to maybe do a web serial that focuses on the Empire – everything so far has been about the Republic. Maybe explore the Chiss, esp now that they have introduced Thrawn.

      • goofpuff says:

        I mean, when you think about it, the plot of star wars (original series) as much as I love it has always pretty basic and cringe. The casting for the original series saved it (James Earl Jones’s amazing voice, Harrison Ford’s sass, Carrie Fisher, Chewbacca’s great actor Peter Mayhew), Mark Hamill and Billy Dee William’s Lando. The question is can the cast can sell this plot. I’m loving the cast so I’m looking forward to them really making something of it.

  12. Jais says:

    Slightly OT but I saw a clip of the star Amanda Stenberg playing the Star Wars theme on the violin and it was so cool. I hate people complaining about anything LGBTQIA+ being shoved down their throats. It’s like no it’s just people who exist and are in stories. Deal with it. Bc what’s the alternative? Gay people are just not in anything as if they’re not real or being hidden away? Yeah no. Fuck that.

  13. Nuks says:

    I was so-so on the first two episodes, for the legitimate critiques: pacing and a young mentality. I thought ok, it’s kind of for younger/family audience. But I watched episode 3 last night, and holy damn that was really good. If you’re on the fence, at least watch 3. But it’s not on the main storyline, so I’m not sure what it will be like when they return to that.

    What pisses me off is that sometimes the quality just isn’t there for these new shows/movies and the diversity takes the blame. It’s more about an unsuccessful take or the writing or the direction, but all people focus on is the diversity. That’s not the problem. Sometimes things just don’t gel, particularly in the SW universe, where the tone is incredibly difficult to nail. And they struggle to make the scripts dense and realistic enough because they don’t want to break the bubble of this otherworld. At least they’re trying, and honestly, it’s not my generation’s turn to decide what this universe is going to be. I’m Gen X and the Gen X men out there who are participating in this mess ought to be hustling in the real world, not crying online about casting. JFC

  14. #24 says:

    I’m watching, it’s not bad. My only ick isn’t even the show, it’s Headland who I found out was Harvey Weinstein assistant

  15. Cee says:

    If the manboys hate it then I’m gonna stream it to oblivion.

  16. Perry says:

    Sorry to say the review bombing complaints must be taken with a pinch of salt, I noticed that YouTube reviewers that are positive to the show mostly got negative comments on the show from their viewers

    • Pulplove says:

      There is honest and for me some valid criticism, no doubt. But as I’ve been following some SW channels on YT for some years, I’ve noticed that suddenly there’re more than three or four times the usual comments with some complaints sounding all very similar and undefined or simply bonkers (“That they spoke with a strong English accent took me out of it”, “They showed an overweight Jedi, what a joke this show is”).

  17. Eden75 says:

    I am old enough to have seen Return of the Jedi in the theater, and have an original movie poster on my wall. I have loved Star Wars for majority of my life and the way the super nerds are about these franchise has always been ridiculous. Even when I was a kid, being a girl and a fan was enough to get you insulted by the boys, constantly, more so if you knew more about it than they did/do. Nothing has changed, in fact, the advent of the internet has made it exponentially worse. I am now old enough to ignore these a$$hats and ignore any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes or any of the rest of the review sites. If I want to watch something, I do, at my own peril. If it sucks, oh well, I guess I am out those few hours. I truly think that sites like that need to be locked out to schmucks, or left to the professional reviews (the Siskel and Eberts of now). Like everything else in the world, the a$$holes have ruined it for the rest of us.

    I have not yet renewed my Disney+ subscription, I am waiting for the Mandalorian (which could be a never, sadly. By far the best Star Wars world tangent in YEARS). The Acolyte is on my list to watch once I am back on it. I am excited to see where it leads.

  18. Flamingo says:

    I really loved The Witcher: Blood Origin but the fanboys went nuts with a black female lead and screaming it was ‘too woke’. It killed any chance of a second season. Which Netflix back pedals and claims it was a standalone season. Which is BS if it had been received based on the content not the fandom issues. We could have had a second season.

    I hope Disney doesn’t back pedal also. I don’t have Disney + but I will get it now to binge it. These streamers are a corporation if the streams are there it will move forward. Regardless of the whining.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      If you get Disney+ and you like historical TV series, Shogun is awesome (it was on FX but streams on Disney+)

  19. SarahCS says:

    I haven’t watched anything on Disney+ in ages but having spent. most of today in bed with a migraine I currently have The Marvels on for my third (?) watching. I guess I know what I’ll put on next!

  20. Juniper says:

    I like it so far. It’s a slow burn, but that’s fine. My only complaint is that shows are only like 8 episodes now instead of 22 so using that tactic doesn’t work as well anymore. I like the different takes on the Force. It makes complete sense in a large galaxy. I have seen that’s what a lot of the fanboyz are complaining about, among other things, to say the least. Heck, we humans can’t agree on Abrahamic religions and we’re only one planet. It seems to me that a lot of the anger comes from men who grew up with the prequels. I don’t see this kind of ire from OT people, but then we’re kind of old now, huh? Anyway, I have found non white dude creators who aren’t angry all the time and like their Star Wars takes.

    On a side note, I love the Witches of Dathomir so I like the concept that this coven is either a rogue sect or the predecessor of them. The Zaborak member helps with that theory.

  21. Cakepie says:

    It’s not a good show. I’m looking for entertainment, not messaging. It’s just impossible to tune out all of the narcissistic personal ideology the showrunners suffuse into their activist “art”. It’s not even my interpretation either, they’re not subtle about it. They brag about the messaging in interviews as if it’s the main selling point. I won’t be watching any more.

    • goofpuff says:

      Is the only way not to be considered “activist art” is to only have straight white people in the lead following ultra conservative tenets?

      • Chris Anderson says:

        No. The only way to not be considered “activist art” is to create something with substance that fans want to see. That just isn’t the case here. Let’s quit with all the lazy fandom blaming and admit that this show is TERRIBLE at it’s core. Star Wars fans IN GENERAL hate it.

      • Woper says:

        Yeah like the same thing happened to fallout show right?

    • Christine says:

      Some people are talking here about “personal ideology” or “activist art”. Could you please explain? I want to know what I am missing. I only saw 2 episodes maybe that’s the problem? In a nutshell, right now it’s about a set of twins, one following a path where she murders jedis to avenge “something” (we don’t have all the details yet). But there is still some good in her. The other twin is having a hard time coming to term with the same “something” while showing a kinder heart but there is anger in her. There is some political unrest in the background and a Jedi Master trying to follow his intuition in a heavy bureaucratic system while trying to solve the case of who is truly behind those murders. So what am I missing? Where is the activism?

    • Christine says:

      Some people are talking here about “personal ideology” or “activist art”. Could you p? I mean I only saw 2 episodes. 2 twins, one following a path where she murders jedis to avenge “something”. But there is still some good in her. The other twin is having a hard time coming to term with the same “something” while showing a kinder heart but there is anger in her. There is some political unrest in the background and a Jedi Master trying to find his voice in a heavy bureaucratic system.So what am I missing?

  22. Tpoe says:

    The show is just bad. Are people review bombing it unfairly? Of course they are. Does that make it t a good show? No it doesn’t. The show, like almost all Star Wars created by Disney (Andor and season 1 of the Mandalorian are the exception imo) is not entertaining.