The Emperor's Theme

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"The Emperor's Theme" is a recurring musical theme of the Star Wars movies. It was composed by John Williams and first appeared in the film Return of the Jedi.

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.

In 1999, "The Emperor's Theme" was the background music for the television commercials for The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime.

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 more-prominent version of the theme is played throughout the final level of Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, "Yavin–Final Showdown", and is continuously used in the duel against Desann.

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.

Prior to the DVD re-release of the movies in 2004, there was speculation that "The Emperor's Theme" would be included in Palpatine's scene in The Empire Strikes Back

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.


Compositions and motifs
Introduced in Episode I
"Duel of the Fates" · "Anakin's Theme" · "Qui-Gon's Theme"
"Funeral Theme" · "Droid Invasion Theme" · "Jar Jar's Theme"
"Darth Maul's Motif" · "Shmi's theme" · "The Arrival at Tatooine" · "Escape from Naboo" · "The Flag Parade"
Introduced in Episode II
"Across the Stars" · "Separatist Theme" · "Kamino motif" · "Mourning Theme" · "The Arena"
"Republic Motif" · "Jango's Escape" · "Bounty Hunter's Pursuit" · "The Meadow Picnic"
Introduced in Episode III
"Battle of the Heroes" · "General Grievous's theme"
"Anakin's Betrayal" · "Padmé's Destiny" · "Padmé's Ruminations"
"Immolation theme" · "Mystery of the Sith motif" · "Anakin's Dark Deeds"
Introduced in Episode IV
"Star Wars Main Title" · "Princess Leia's Theme" · "Rebel Fanfare" · "The Throne Room" · "Binary Sunset"
"Imperial motif" · "Death Star motif" · "Jawa Theme" · "Here They Come!" · "The Final Battle" · "Tusken Raider Theme"
Introduced in Episode V
"The Imperial March" · "Han Solo and the Princess" · "Yoda's Theme" · "Droids motif" · "Boba Fett's motif"
"Lando's Palace" · "Betrayal at Bespin motif" · "The Asteroid Field"
Introduced in Episode VI
"Parade of the Ewoks" · "The Forest Battle" · "Jabba's Theme" · "The Emperor's Theme" · "Luke and Leia"
"Victory Celebration" · "Yoda's Revelation" · "Jabba the Hutt" · "Ewok Celebration"
Introduced in Episode VII
"Main Title and The Attack on the Jakku Village" · "I Can Fly Anything" · "Rey's Theme" · "Han and Leia"
"March of the Resistance" · "Snoke"
Introduced in The Clone Wars
"Ahsoka's Triumphant Theme" · "Padmé's Theme" · "Clone Wars Victory Theme" · "Ahsoka's Theme"
Introduced in Shadows of the Empire
"Xizor's Theme" · "Dash's theme"
Introduced in The Force Unleashed
"Kota's Theme" · "Force Unleashed Theme" · "Juno Eclipse's Theme" · "Redemption Theme"
Introduced in Rogue Squadron
"Rogue Squadron Main Title"

Real-world music
The Phantom Menace · Attack of the Clones · Revenge of the Sith
A New Hope · The Empire Strikes Back · Return of the Jedi
The Force Awakens · Rogue One: A Star Wars Story · Ewoks · The Clone Wars · The Clone Wars Seasons 1–6
Shadows of the Empire · Republic Commando · Knights of the Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic II · Forces of Corruption · The Force Unleashed
The Force Unleashed II · The Old Republic
Original Soundtrack Anthology · Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection
Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition · Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection
John Williams · Joel McNeely · Clint Bajakian · Peter Bernstein · Jesse Harlin · Mark Griskey · Frank Klepacki
Jeremy Soule · Joseph Williams · Jerry Hey · Kevin Kiner · Michael Giacchino · Chris Hülsbeck · Alexandre Desplat
London Symphony Orchestra · London Voices
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra · Maurice Murphy · Royal Scottish National Orchestra
New London Children's Choir · Seattle Sinfonia Orchestra
Sheet music books
The Phantom Menace · Attack of the Clones · Revenge of the Sith
Music from the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition · Selections from Star Wars
Star Wars: A Musical Journey: Episodes I-VI · Star Wars Episodes I, II & III Instrumental Solos
Star Wars for Beginning Piano Solo
Music Videos
"Lapti Nek" The Music Video from Jabba's Palace · The Duel of the Fates · A Hero Falls
Bantha Music · Christmas in the Stars · Tusken Music · Headspace

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