Today is May the Fourth, traditionally observed around the world as the day where we celebrate Star Wars by making long-suppressed personal confessions. For example, Parks And Recreation star Ben Schwartz has just offered up the fact that, three years ago, he played a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens—a fact long concealed by the masks that we all must wear, and also by a Stormtrooper mask.
Around the time of the film’s 2015 release, Schwartz was far more forthcoming about his role voicing the droid BB-8, something he said he undertook with the help of Bill Hader and a sound effects app. Perhaps it was only the veneer of personal remove afforded by collaboration that allowed Schwartz to feel comfortable enough sharing that fact publicly. If so, what a shame. Had he simply felt more at ease earlier, perhaps we all could have known that Schwartz played a Stormtrooper years ago, rather than him feeling like he had to hide it all this time.
In many ways, this is our failure to create an amiable and trusting working environment. So, apologies, Ben Schwartz. This one is on us. All of us.
Schwartz joins the other people who have revealed that they, too, played Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens, a proud group that includes Daniel Craig, composer Michael Giacchino, and producer Nigel Godrich. If anyone else would like to come forward, now is the time—or any time, really. Speak your truth, and let us resolve to live like it’s May The Fourth every day.