Title: My Best Friend is a Wookiee: A Memoir (One Boy’s Journey to Find His Place in the Galaxy)
Author: Tony Pacitti
Publisher: Adams Media
Release Date: September 18, 2010
When I see the word memoir in a title, I expect to read the thoughts, insights, and memories of a man or woman who is at least in their middle ages. And with the topic being Star Wars, that drove my assumption home even stronger about this book. You see, I saw the word memoir attached to the topic of Star Wars and assumed the author saw the original trilogy during its first run. Anyone who saw the trilogy in theaters had to at least be in their late forties by now. (I am one of those bitter fans so traumatized by Episodes I, II, and III, I blocked their existence from my mind. For me, there is only the Star Wars trilogy consisting of Episodes IV, V, and VI.)
So you can understand my shock when I learned the man penning his science fiction memoir was born in 1985.
This is not the world weary sage wisdom of an author in the golden years of his life. My Best Friend is a Wookiee is the tale of a young man as he reflects on how Star Wars shaped him during his formative years. From his introduction to the original trilogy with Empire Strikes Back through the release of Episode III, Pacitti invites the reader into the dark basement of his heart and soul to take a seat on a tattered couch and relive the films with him.
Pacitti is not perfect. He has made many mistakes and gone down the wrong path numerous times. He is a man with plenty of youthful indiscretions left ahead of him. And he is aware of this. There is a vulnerability, an honesty in his writing that made me both feel empathy and cringe with embarrassment for my fellow geek brother in arms.
But the important fact is Pacitti will make you feel. His command over the written words floods the reader with a hurricane of emotions.
I felt his pain witnessing the popularity of the re-release of Star Wars in theaters grow amongst the same classmates who spent so many years mocking him for this that they now deemed cool. The confusion he felt watching his bullies geek out over something just last week they were beating him up over liking. The resentment of putting so many years, so much passion, and dealing with so much bullying into a fandom only to know this new found popularity for a beloved story will soon pass. I could relate to the bitterness of not wanting the cool kids to play in his world after spending the majority of his life defending it.
Like Star Wars, Pacitti’s memoir possesses tragedy, betrayal and bittersweet triumph. And while this is not the thoughts and reflections of a man in his golden years, it is the heartbreaking memoir of a man in the golden years of his fandom.
Be you a Star Wars or Star Trek fan, a geek or a muggle, or just a lover of really good memoirs, I highly recommend adding Tony Pacitti’s My Best Friend is a Wookiee to your reading list.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars