You Know What Happens When One Assumes…

Photo Courtesy of Adams Media

Title: My Best Friend is a Wookie

Author: Tony Pacitti

Format: Hardcover (also available for Kindle)

I will admit that I approached Tony Pacitti’s memoir My Best Friend is a Wookie with some trepidation. The cover was adorable, but I feared that what lurked behind it would be trite platitudes and some sickening fanwank about how Star Wars is “shuper aweshome!”

But now, I am here to say:  The Zombrarian was wrong. Very wrong.

The book tells a familiar story:  boy is geek, boy has trouble finding friends, boy finds friends (both imaginary and real) through Star Wars and video games, boy eventually learns confidence and accepts his place in the world.  However, it’s not told in an after-school-special way.  Tony brings honesty and freshness to his material that makes it intriguing. He doesn’t pull any punches, not even to save himself from embarrassment.  He manages to make even the painful moments humorous without diminishing their import, and he draws the reader in with a warm and charming writing style.  Most importantly, he discusses the ways Star Wars is an inextricable part of his life, and how it affected him; but he does not stretch to make connections that aren’t there, and he doesn’t overwork the Star Wars angle.

Entwined with Tony’s memoir is what I consider to be a review of Star Wars, from the original trilogy through to the animated series Clone Wars. Here, in one place, are all the high and low points, laid out from a fan’s perspective. He even manages to throw in some dissenting opinions via the voices of friends and enemies. I, for one, found myself yelling my own opinions right back at the pages of the book, but I was also reconsidering some of them while I did so.

Admittedly, some of the appeal of this book came for me when I realized that Tony and I are the same age (give or take a few months).  I saw familiar moments from my childhood reflected in his story. (I too had a mother who decided that Jurassic Park was far too violent for me to see, even though everybody else had seen it.) Tony and I weren’t exactly the same growing up, but I see in his story my friends, my little brother, and the awesome people I meet at cons.  Reading his memoir helped me see their fandom and my own a little more clearly, and it’s also helped me understand my feelings about Star Wars, both the good and the bad.

Rating: 5/5

My Best Friend is a Wookiee: One Boy’s Journey to Find His Place in the Galaxy is available from Amazon, and is published by Adams Media.

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