Abstract With the popularity of knowledge graphs growing rapidly, large amounts of RDF graphs have been released, which raises the need for addressing the challenge of distributed subgraph matching queries. In this paper, we propose an efficient distributed method to answer subgraph matching queries on big RDF graphs using MapReduce. In our method, query graphs are decomposed into a set of stars that utilize the semantic and structural information embedded RDF graphs as heuristics. Two optimization techniques are proposed to further improve the efficiency of our algorithms. One algorithm, called RDF property filtering, filters out invalid input data to reduce intermediate results; the other is to improve the query performance by postponing the Cartesian product operations. The extensive experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets show that our method outperforms the close competitors S2X and SHARD by an order of magnitude on average.