The votes are still being counted, but early results on Tuesday show that . . . The Last Jedi is one of the highest-rated Star Wars movies ever, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Rotten Tomatoes made the announcement shortly after Walt Disney and Lucasfilm lifted the press embargo on critics’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi reviews, which debuts in theaters on Dec. 15. After (mostly positive) reviews of the much-hyped film began flooding the web on Tuesday, Rotten Tomatoes said its “Tomatometer” tracking tool had counted almost 100 reviews in under an hour, with The Last Jedi receiving a 96% “Fresh” rating. Not long after that initial rating, Rotten Tomatoes followed up to announce that The Last Jedi is now “Certified Fresh” at a rating of 93%.
The other highest-rated Star Wars films, based on Rotten Tomatoes’ tracking, are 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back (94%) and 2015’s The Force Awakens (93%).
Of course, there will still be many more reviews that come rolling in throughout Tuesday and the rest of this week, which will affect The Last Jedi‘s Rotten Tomatoes score for better or worse. Meanwhile, movie theaters around the world are likely hoping for a record-breaking weekend after the opening weekend for 2015’s The Force Awakens ($528 million worldwide) soared past box office records on the movie’s way to piling up more than $2 billion in global ticket sales. Early box office tracking estimates are already predicting Star Wars: The Last Jedi could pull in more than $425 million globally this weekend, which would make it one of the biggest film openings ever.
Here are the Rotten Tomatoes tweets (including a promotion from Verizon, one of the movie’s big sponsors):
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Among the generally favorable (and, mostly spoiler-free) reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi are Entertainment Weekly‘s Chris Nashawaty, who calls the movie “(mostly) a triumph.” Giving the film a “B+” rating, Nashawaty noted that the new Star Wars movie has its flaws, including a “bloated” middle act that he says drags on, but he also calls it “undeniably impressive.” Other critics expressed similar sentiments in reviews that ranged from calling The Last Jedi “jam-packed” to “crowded, busy and long.”
Ultimately, though, the overwhelming takeaway from critics seems to be that the film is more than a worthy franchise update. The New York Times calls the movie “really good” and “a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment.”