Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert Review ‘Star Wars’ During Its Second Release For the 1977 Holidays

When Star Wars IV: A New Hope was released for a second run in 1977 for the holidays, legendary film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert dedicated a segment of their show to review the film again. Both Siskel and Ebert found the film to be a fun, escapist film that will sure to delight the whole family.

So there you have it, your basic intergalactic warfare as the heroic princess is snatched away from the Death Star by the intrepid space buccaneers. And what’s the meaning of it all? Who knows and who cares? ‘Star Wars’ became the new box office champion by providing 100% escapist entertainment. It’s one of those moves that seem to play to every sort of audience to bring out the kid in all of us.

In 1983, the pair found themselves having to defend their review of the film against John Simon, a legendary film critic in his own right during an ABC News segment with Ted Koppel. Simon felt the movie to be violent and dehumanizing and felt that his fellow critics were childish for liking Star Wars. Roger Ebert struck back at Simon about his love for science fiction.

I don’t know what he did as a child but I spent a lot of my Saturday matinees watching science fiction movies and serials and having a great time and being stimulated and having my imagination stimulated and having all sorts of visions take place in my mind that helped me to become an adult and to still stay young at heart. I would say not that I’m childlike but that he is old at heart.

The pair reviewed the film again in 1997 during the 20th year celebration of the film.

Siskel & Ebert review the 1997 Special Edition of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” Originally released in 1977.