Watch Siskel and Ebert defend Return of the Jedi

There’s a bunch of Star Wars news floating around post-J.J. Abrams announcement. Deadline is reporting that the 3D releases of Star Wars Episode II and III are being cancelled so that Disney and Lucasfilm can focus on Episode VII. The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Abrams isn’t locked into a 2015 release date, which is hardly a surprise.

2015 is a date that Disney threw onto a wall, essentially. It seems like they’re more than willing to push it back to get it right and allow Abrams to fully concentrate on it. After all, he’s got a huge amount of projects in the pipeline. He’s got TV shows, he’s still producing Star Trek 3 and he’s also producing the fifth Mission Impossible movie.

So here’s something you can do to keep you busy: watch film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert defend Return of the Jedi against fellow critic John Simon on Nightline in 1983. Back then, the original Star Wars trilogy wasn’t the set of all-time classics it’s considered now. They were fresh and discussed. And Twitter and the blogosphere weren’t around to dissect either. So we got film critics on Nightline discussing the merits of the third Star Wars film.

Simon believes the movies to be worthless. They were too violent, not suitable for kids or anyone with an adult imagination. He even says that Walt Disney could do a better job with animation and the same source material (wink wink, nudge).

Siskel and Ebert go on to absolutely own the dude. They point out that the film is well-made entertainment and Siskel compares it to a crappy movie called Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, which happened to be in 3D. Ebert goes on to say that these are the kind of movies Disney should make! And hell, starting in a couple years they will!

The two legendary film critics defend the Star Wars movie as a great time for not only kids, but for people with imagination. It made them laugh, it made them excited and it was a fine film. This is why those two were the best. And why Ebert continues to be the best. [i09 via The Playlist]

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