My Best Friend is a Wookiee

In a galaxy far, far away…a geek was born. So begins the real-life hero’s journey of Jedi Knight wannabe Tony Pacitti. In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, our hapless hero sees Star Wars for the first time at the age of seven–and is never the same again. The epic film becomes little Tony’s moral compass, mentor, even psychologist, helping him battle the Evil Empire wherever he finds it. He uses the Force to navigate the perils and pitfalls of childhood–from the bullies who badger him at the bus stop to the beautiful girl who mocks Obi-Wan and breaks Tony’s heart. The George Lucas releases The Phantom Menace, and a disappointed Tony turns to the Dark Side of adolescence, falling in with stoners and goths and nu-metalheads so lame even Jar Jar Binks would shun them. However, armed with the sense of humor of Han Solo, the will power of Luke Skywalker, and the wise attitude of a much younger Yoda, Tony grows into a man worthy of riding shotgun with a Wookiee.

18 responses to “My Best Friend is a Wookiee

  1. I pre-ordered it and I can’t wait to read it!:-)

  2. love it! great book! go Tony!

  3. I just finished reading My Best Friend is a Wookiee and I have to confess I ended up bawling like a little girl, instead of acting cool like the big girl I’m supposed to be. I really enjoyed it, and –of course- identified with a great deal of it. I can still remember the day after Phantom Menace, at the office, calling each one of my friends to complain about feeling betrayed by Lucas because the Force should not be related to intergalactic viruses or because no self-respecting future Darth Vader should be allowed to say “Yippie”. (Not that Phantom Menace even remotely compares to the betrayal of Indy 4, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)
    The book made me remember a few episodes of my childhood like the Christmas morning when some TV channel in Mexico decided to show the trilogy back to back and I threw a hissy fit because my parents somehow thought visiting family was more important than the chance to see the movies together for the first time (even if I already knew them by heart). In the end I only missed half of episode IV. Doing a marathon is an annual tradition for me now, and once I year I just forget about everything and watch them all as non-stop as possible, from Episode I to VI including Clone Wars. I have reached a zen-like state in which I can watch Episodes I and II without getting mad and have to confess to really enjoying Episde III (I still cry every time they hand off the twins and their respective themes play… I know it’s a cliché but what are you gonna do, it gives me the warm and fuzzies).
    My best friend (who is actually a Trekkie) found the book in NYC last week and decided it was the perfect gift for me. As chance would have it, he brought it home to me (in Mexico) while I was (and still am) in one of the worst Star Wars fever I’ve had in years… and that is saying a lot. I put everything else on hold to read it in two days, and I absolutely loved it. It made me feel a little less of a freak for having –as I write- Clone Wars in my DVD player, Labyrinth of Evil (audiobook) in my iPod, the Han Solo trilogy on my nightstand and a Darth Vader poster hanging over my bed.
    Thank you very much for a very moving, very smart and totally hilarious book.

  4. I’m 13, and I just finished reading this book minutes ago. And I can’t say anything less that it will definitely be one of the best books I will ever read in my lifetime, and I respect you for putting some of the less than good memories of your childhood that pretty much any normal person wouldn’t have put in. My bestfriends older brother is a verrryyy avid fan, and I have watched the movies then made up questions in which he can anwser on the spot, and after reading this book, I want to question him on his views of how the series changed, and see if he was as torn as you were for the new trilogy, and after doing so, I’m letting him read it too. But one last thing, there are a series of “obsessed” books, which all consist of 5000 ridiculous questions on their topic. Theres obsessed with sports, obsessed with marvel comics, and obsessed with star wars. I recommend them totally. But in complete conclusion, thank you for writing such a hilarious, and moving book.

  5. My 6th grade son has to read a first person non-fiction book for English. We are thinking that he would love this – he is a bit of a “geek.” We are wondering though if it has “adult” descriptions of certain “encounters.”

    • Hi Amy,
      The book most certainly does have “adult” descriptions. The first section takes place during elementary school, but even that has some questionable language for a 6th grader. If anything, I’d say read through it first and pick and choose the parts for your son to read. Thanks for asking!

  6. Hey Tony,

    I just finished reading your book, and I enjoyed your honesty. I can relate to some of the experiences you detailed, and if it makes you feel any better, I actually fainted getting my first tattoo.

    I thoroughly enjoy parts of the Star Wars universe, and I can empathize with the disappointment of the prequels, but what I think you capture best of all is that feeling of emptiness when one’s immersion in an alternate creative universe is suddenly jolted by reality (whether it be the disappointment of a less-than-fulfilling sequel, the end of a movie/book/comic/storyline that you honestly enjoyed, or the complications of a romantic relationship outside of the alternate universe).

    In any case, congratulations on publishing your memoir (I won’t even make fun of you for writing a memoir in your 20s….that actually takes some balls to assume you have a story worth telling!), and best of luck in the future.

    Two fanboy questions for you:
    1) Do you like the Star Wars: Legacy comics? I find them refreshingly true to the best of Star Wars sensibilities while introducing some more modern (or post-modern, I guess) philosophical dilemmas. And I like the very flawed, but multidimensioned Skywalker-scion hero.
    2) I think an adaptation of the Thrawn triology would make three awesome movies if they hired the correct writers/director and Lucas has little to nothing to do with it other than the licensing. Thoughts?

    Peace, dude.


    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for the kind words! Now for your questions:
      1) I’m slowly making my way through Legacy but so far I enjoy it for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. It’s good to see a Skywalker turned on his ear. I feel like it’s okay to assume that he saves the day in the end, but how he doesn’t certainly won’t be as full of moral fiber as if this were a story about Luke. It’s good to really mess with our heroes the way they do in Legacy.
      2) Aside from the alterations they’d have to make to fit in with events the way the prequels say they happened, I agree, they’re great stories and would probably be great movies. At this point though all of the actors are decades older than they would be in the films, though I suppose they could just CG the crap out of the thing. As cool as it would be I can’t imagine a world now where a Star Wars at the movies wasn’t held firmly under George’s thumb. But who would you want to direct it? Since it’s so unlikely to ever happen we can let our imaginations go wild.

  7. Hey Tony – I just finished reading your book and just wanted to thank you for it. I was born in ’84, so everything you talked about, Star Wars related or not, I was experiencing at the exact same time. It’s really the first time I’ve had that connection reading a book.
    I first saw the book when I was travelling in the US at the end of last year (I live in Melbourne, Australia), and my girlfriend got me a copy for christmas. It’s made me revisit the original trilogy on DVD (and man do I hate all the additional shit it it). You had that copy of EMPIRE your parents taped off HBO – when I’m watching the DVDs now I can remember when my own tapes used to cut to an ad break, or where the tape would screw up and R2-D2’s beeping would warble and go off key. And the original song at the end of Return of the Jedi … man, I wish I could get my hands on THOSE versions of the films.
    Anyway, this has been longer than I intended it to be, and largely without point. Thanks again, keep up the great work. I look forward to whatever your next project is.
    – Nick

  8. Tony, the book is awesome. I’m not sure how else to say it. I’m doing a review of it for our local newspaper here in MI, and am hoping our whole community reads it. Forever a Solo and Falcon fan, every bit of the book brought me back to my first times watching the movies (Empire is the BEST). Long live the Force.

  9. So, I’m in the process of reading this… probably about halfway through… I cannot put it down. I’m 22 years old and the entire first episode in the book felt like you were talking about me. Keep up the good work. Seriously. I look forward to whatever it is you plan on doing next.

    • Yes, I’m replying to my own comment… I’ve finished the book since yesterday when I posted my last one and it all still reigns true. Thank you again for writing this.
      any chance of you posting a picture of your rebel alliance tattoo?

  10. Hello Tony,
    I haven’t read or purchased your book yet. I’m 16 at the moment, and I am in this thing called Forensics, one of the speeches I do is called Duo interpretation, where ny partner and I act out a movie or a book in a ten minute cut. I know this might be odd for me to do this, but I wanted to ask for your permission to do this on your book, and I know you most likely have a lot of time on your hands but maybe, possibly if there where certain aspects of the book which you picture better than any reader can, that we may somehow discuss them.

    • That sounds neat, Matthew. I did something similar in my creative writing class when I was in high school. Obviously I think your best bet would be to read the book first. I think there are certainly some parts that might work better for this than others, but you know what you need to do for your class better than I do. Anyway, you have my permission. Good luck with it!

  11. Great book Tony! Read it a month ago and loved it! Im a HUGE original trilogy fan and purist and see eye to eye with your passion and anger toward the SE’s, prequals as mentioned in your book, and now the blurays. I loved the simple down to earth passages about the days you spent with your friends, just hanging out, having sleep overs, watching movies, eating fast food and playing video games. It sure brought back treasured memories.

  12. Great read, Tony. I got this book for my 40th birthday almost a year ago, but it sat with other “books I want to read” until I grabbed it to take with me to Wyoming, where I am spending the holidays with my wife’s family. I just finished it last night. I’m a little older than you are, but much of what you wrote rings true for me.

    One of my clearest childhood memories is going to see Jedi in the theater with my grade-school buddies after a half-day of school. And I remember standing in line for Empire with my older brother (who gave me your book); I also remember being one of the last holdouts in my neighborhood afterward: there’s no way Darth Vader is Luke’s father: that’s impossible. Unfortunately, Episode I has been one of the more painful moments in my adult life — Episodes II and III only slightly less so, because by the time they came out I was resigned to anger and hatred.

    My 40th birthday party was a Star Wars costume party, and was well attended by friends in costume from the original trilogy and also from the new ones (I considered banning costumes from the new movies but decided not to be so much of a reactionary). We did an open mic music format, and I played an original tune I wrote for the party. A friend of mine posted it on YouTube. I think you will get a kick out of it: If that doesn’t work, the search terms star wars dream 40 will get you to it. I went as Luke in his X-Wing pilot gear; my wife is the R2 at the end of the clip.

    I look forward to reading whatever you write next. I will be recommending your book to others, and also buying it as a gift fro a few like-minded friends. Catch you further on down the trail.

    Sean, Everett WA

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