Khoi Vinh’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pursuant to my realization during my last viewing that the best way to watch this movie is to pretend that none of the sequels, prequels, spinoffs, cartoons, comics, novels, holiday specials, toys, pajamas, board games, breakfast cereals, men’s ties, women’s brassieres, lawn mowers, dining room chandeliers, or ANY of that other tie-in/extended universe nonsense EVER EXISTED, I can now finally enjoy this movie again without all the pain of a thousand raised expectations all dashed to pieces like a tableful of glassware overturned and sent shattering all over the floor.
Subsequently, I now declare that this is the ONLY Star Wars movie that was ever made and the only one that exists today, and it stands on its own wholly and completely.
Furthermore: Luke’s father and Darth Vader were two different people. And Luke and Leia were not brother and sister and the crux of the three leads’ relationships is actually a simple love triangle and not some twisted incestuous retcon. And there was only ever the one Death Star and the Empire never got to go back and order up a super-sized version of it. And the clone wars were something actually traumatic and epochal that had nothing to do with some dumb schmuck with a bucket for a helmet that never said or did anything particularly interesting. And the Force is in fact an energy field created by all living things and “midichlorians” have nothing to do with it. And the practice of the Force is actually rare and special and there aren’t a bunch of chumps on every street corner who are “sensitive” to it. And only the truly devout would ever say “May the Force be with you” with a straight face.
In summary, there is only this one brilliant, naïve, go-for-broke expression of the seven decades worth of cinema that preceded it, and it stands on its own and, rather than continually watering down our memories of its singular wow-ness with endless derivatives, when it reaches the end of its two-hour and five minute runtime that’s it, that’s the end, the real end of it, and the movie just lets its final notes continue to ring out like a beautiful bell rung in the night whose final chime continues to sing into the distance, allowing us to think on and absorb its imperfect, unpretentious gusto and giving our imaginations the room and space and time to explore the countless mysteries to which it alludes on our own, without further intervention. And then it just leaves it at that.