It is first heard in the scene when Palpatine arrives on the second Death Star, and later is heard in several scenes taking place in the Emperor's throne room. It is an incredibly dark vocal piece performed by a foreboding male choir, thematically representing the pure evil that is Palpatine. Portions of it also played when he was torturing Luke Skywalker before meeting his demise at the hands of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker.
In The Phantom Menace, "The Emperor's Theme" is heard whenever Darth Sidious speaks to Nute Gunray. A variation of the theme in a major key, Symponik Nabooalla, is also heard during the parade scene in Theed.
In Attack of the Clones, "The Emperor's Theme" is heard in the Lars' garage scene where Anakin confesses to Padmé about his slaughter of the Tusken Raiders. It is also heard in the scene towards the end when Count Dooku approaches The Works on Coruscant and meets with Sidious.
The theme is most prevalent in Revenge of the Sith. It is played when Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi discuss Palpatine's intentions prior to Yoda leaving for Kashyyyk; after Sidious bestows upon Anakin the title of Darth Vader, and when the Emperor rescues Vader from Mustafar.
One of the musical pieces in Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, played during several stages, incorporates an up-tempo variation of the Emperor's theme as its bridge. The normal version of the theme is included as well and is played on the 'Game Over' screen.
In Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, part of "The Emperor's Theme" is played after a mission failure.
A variant of "The Emperor's Theme" is the background music for both the main screen and the Korriban areas in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it is also the background music onboard the Ravager in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. A segment of "The Emperor's Theme" is played whenever the player has gained a dark side point in the latter game. "The Emperor's Theme" plays during the mission briefing screens in Star Wars: Republic Commando.
The theme is played in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 16 "The Lawless", when Palpatine tells Mas Amedda to prepare his ship, and again when he confronts Darth Maul and Savage Opress on Mandalore. It is also played in the Season 6 Episode 4 "Orders", when Count Dooku speaks with Palpatine about Order 66.
In the trailer for Angry Birds Star Wars 2, "Join the Pork Side", at the end of the video a short section of the theme is played.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Republic Commando
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lost One"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- Vector Prime television commercial
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi