There is so much to love about this segment. This is a 1983 Nightline segment in which Siskel and Ebert both defend Star Wars as a valid and adult form of entertainment, against criticism from John Simon, Film Critic for the National Review. Simon does not think much about Star Wars, and goes to call The Empire Strikes Back and the rest of the trilogy as having “ghastly dialogue, terrible plotting, miserable characterization” and “three lousy actors.” Ouch!
You would think even Simon would at least have recognized the film's revolutionary special effects if not the story and characters, but you would be wrong. He goes on to say “When you have a film that’s 90 percent special – and that’s a kindly estimate — 90 percent special effects, you might just as well be watching an animated cartoon, because finally all those special effects begin to look totally unreal. What you are left with is something Walt Disney could have done just as well with a drawing board and pencils and colors.”
While most if not all would not agree with Simon's opinion, I must say, I truly respect people who have the guts to express their honest opinion in spite of public concensus. Even if that opinion is tainted in a haze of pretension and superiority.
Finally, I can't stop looking at Ted Koppel's hair. Man that is one wavy and funky 'do.