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Watch: Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel Defend 'Return Of The Jedi' On 'Nightline' In 1983

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 28, 2013 5:41 PM
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Return Of The Jedi Siskel & Ebert

So, a 2015 release date for "Star Wars: Episode VII" still isn't locked down, and the planned re-release of the prequels has been scrapped. So what's a "Star Wars" fan to do? Well, thanks to the internet, they can revel in past glory for the time being.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we once lived without the internet, and movie reviews were things that people actually read instead of Twitter reactions. In print even. And right around the time of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi," not everyone was in love with the franchise. And one such person was John Simon, critic for the National Review. And in this great segment from "Nightline" in 1983, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel challenge him on his position that the "Star Wars" movies are worthless.

Simon tries to make the argument that the movies are not suitable for children or adults or something, with Siskel and Ebert pointing to the fact they are simply great pieces of entertainment that find a more than receptive audience in the kids who go to see them. Siskel brings up "Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone" as the kind of movie trying to do what George Lucas has accomplished and failing miserably, while Simon lamely offers "Tender Mercies" as a substitute to bring your kids to. Watch dude get pwned below. [io9]

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  • daniel | January 28, 2013 8:21 PMReply

    Pwnd or no, Return of the Jedi is a truly terrible film, and the Ewoks are only the furry icing on that poocake.

  • concerned citizen kane | January 28, 2013 7:26 PMReply

    can anyone explain that screenshot? who is the dude in the prosthetic alien getup?

  • TheoC | January 29, 2013 4:25 AM

    I Think it's Klatuu? a guard on Jabba's skiff, during the sarlacc pit scene.

  • TheoC | January 28, 2013 6:44 PMReply

    Prescient John Simon, he's actually reviewing the prequels.

  • JoeS | January 28, 2013 6:05 PMReply

    Amusing artifact. For those who don't know about John Simon, he was a notoriously "high brow" critic who hated most popular culture (not just films). I will give him this however, TENDER MERCIES was a better film than RETURN OF THE JEDI (aka THE EWOKS TAKE OVER)

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