Some context: In May of 1983, Return of the Jedi was released, concluding the original Star Wars trilogy and raking in millions of dollars in movie tickets and merchandising. As successful as the film was, it still had some detractors. And so on an episode of ABC’s Nightline legendary film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert (who were both firmly in the pro-Star Wars camp) defended the space saga against New York critic John Simon — who ridiculously suggests that parents take their kids to see the Robert Duvall downer Tender Mercies instead. Watch this and be amazed. I mean, Return of the Jedi is most definitely not without its problems, but it hardly deserves the scorn that Simon thrusts upon it here. I give this clip two thumbs up, and I think you will too.
We originally ran this post in 2017, and are reprinting it as part of today’s Star Wars Day celebrations.