A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

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Okay, so it was technically Chicago, which was the home of Siskel & Ebert — also known throughout its run on television as Sneak Previews, Opening Soon at a Theater Near Year You, and At the Movies — for 30 years. The show mostly existed before the internet, and even once the web became popular, Siskel & Ebert didn’t have any sort of official online archive. (It didn’t help that the show had multiple owners; it started on public television, then went into syndication, and was owned by Disney for the final portion of its run.) A fair number of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s TV reviews are available online, but a lot of them are not.

For example, in all my years of dweeby Siskel & Ebert fandom, I had never seen their 1977 review of the first Star Wars ... until now. It popped up this week on YouTube. Watch it below:

Those last two lines from the segment are really something:

Ebert: “It’s a movie that will last for years.”

Siskel: “The only thing I’m worried about is it’s so successful and so mindless fun, that I hope Hollywood doesn’t forget that there are people who like to see serious pictures too.”

Sooooooo... they were kind of good at their jobs, huh?

Also, if you want to see more vintage Siskel & Ebert, I recommend you check out SiskelEbert.org, an unofficial archive of the show dating back to the mid-1970s. It’s sadly not complete, but it’s still being updated with new videos. (Last week, they added material from the short-lived Ebert Presents At the Movies show from PBS.) Until they add Siskel and Ebert’s review of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the balcony is closed.

[H/T Reddit]

Gallery — Every Star Wars Movie Ever Made, Ranked From Worst to Best:

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