#Throwback Thursday: BB-8 and Ben Schwartz

BB-8 is one of the newest additions to the “Star Wars” universe, and Sphero’s $150 robot was a must-have toy during the holiday season. The film version of BB-8 was voiced by four people, one of whom was Ben Schwartz, who graduated from Union in 2003. (Erin Wade | Concordiensis)

The galaxy waited over 30 years to see what would become of some of the most beloved characters in film. What happened to Master Jedi Luke Skywalker and the sister he wished he never kissed, Princess Leia? Did Chewbacca finally find himself a beautiful Wookie wife, or was he still running wild with Han?

All these questions and more were answered on Dec. 18, 2015, with the release of Disney’s “The Force Awakens.” The latest installment did not disappoint. The film has grossed well over $800 million in the U.S. alone and smashed the box offices on its opening weekend.

Many of the original cast members strapped back up to join the cast of “The Force Awakens,” including Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, who play some of the most loveable droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, respectively.

But the new movie saw some new faces, as well. J.J. Abrams introduced a new droid to the galaxy with the latest film. Its name? BB-8.

Rolling around, BB-8 captured the hearts of all with his signature lighter thumbs-up, and Sphero’s $150 BB-8 robot became a must-have toy during the holiday season.

This little guy’s “beeping” and “booping” never would have been heard without the help of a relatively recent Union grad, Ben Schwartz, Class of 2003.

You may recognize Schwartz’s name if you are a fan of “House of Lies” or “Parks and Recreation.”

Before his time as a Hollywood actor, Schwartz was a psychology and anthropology double major here at Union. He also helped kick-start an improv troupe during his time on campus.

Schwartz, a native of Riverdale, N.Y., was an improv performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and was a freelance writer for “The Late Show” and the Weekend Update segment on “Saturday Night Live.”

The voice consultant for BB-8 has over 40 actor credits and a total of 15 credits as a writer/producer on IMDb. He also helped co-launch rejectedjokes.com.

His latest work is as an actor in the film The Intervention which premieres on Jan. 26.

Whether or not you have seen “The Force Awakens,” may the Schwartz be with you!



Leave a Reply