From Screen Rant:
“There’s something wrong with the Rotten Tomatoes score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The third movie in George Lucas’ divisive prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith is widely regarded as the best of the three for how it maturely brought the then-six movie saga to a close. However, if you went to popular review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes to see how audiences have rated the film, you’ll be getting skewed results.
At present, Revenge of the Sith sits on a 79% Tomatometer score and a 65% user rating, marking it out as the most liked of the prequel trilogy by critics and audiences alike. However, while that critic percentage has been pretty static over the past 14 years, there’s something seriously off with its audience score; that 65% is calculated from votes by 33,682,429 users. In comparison, since their respective releases, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has 229,322 audience votes and Star Wars: The Last Jedi only 204,091. Box Office Mojo estimates that Episode III sold 59,324,600 tickets domestically, meaning over 50% of the moviegoing public voted on this movie, compared to 0.3% of The Last Jedi‘s.
Delving into the past of Rotten Tomatoes using the Wayback Machine, a website that stores snapshots of internets past, provides one solution. In 2010, Revenge of the Sith‘s audience score was a healthy 85%, a number it had been circling since release five years in 2005. Then, in October 2010, that number shot down 21 points to just 64%. At first, nothing seemed off, with the site citing this number was calculated by 198,824 votes. However, by May 2011, it read 32,050,182 votes for the film, an increase of almost 32 million. This number leaps up to near its current total by 1.5 million in October 2012, when the score settled out at 65% – which it remains at until this day.
While the percentage dropped before the mass influx of votes appeared on the site, it must be noted that the number votes Rotten Tomatoes cited didn’t change at all until the 32 million increase. There’s a similar lag present across past pages on the Wayback Machine, suggesting that the score and number of votes counted aren’t updated with the same frequency by the source site.
It would thus appear that the Revenge of the Sith score only dropped from 85% to 64% after a 160,000% increase in votes. It’s unclear what’s happened here, but the obvious suggestion would be that bots spammed the page to bring the score down. […]”