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This article is about the in-universe martial theme of the Imperial Navy. You may be looking for The Imperial March, the out-of-universe song for the Star Wars franchise representing the Galactic Empire.

Throughout galactic history, "The Imperial March,"[1] also referred to as the Martial Theme of the Empire played across the galaxy. It was most well known as the martial theme of the Imperial Navy of the Galactic Empire, where it often played during graduation ceremonies.[2] A piano variation also existed.[3]


In its beginning, The Imperial March was composed of repetitive drum beats, which are composed of the beats "Dum, Dum, Dum, Dum-te-dum, Dum-te-dum," before brass instruments blared loudly, the beats getting louder with the passing stanzas.


The Imperial March, or a similar song, was briefly hummed by Jedi Padawan Ashara Zavros around 3643 BBY.[4] Anakin Skywalker also briefly hummed the song when he had completed a race.[5] The song later appeared throughout the Clone Wars, where it had been used both as elevator music[3] and by a rocket battle droid when he and his party were preparing to intercept Jedi Master Plo Koon's escape pod.[6] Eventually, the song entered the use of the Galactic Empire, where, as its nickname implied, it acted as their martial theme for the Imperial Navy, and presumably the other branches of the Imperial Military.[2] As such, members of the Stormtrooper Corps and other Imperial personnel frequently hummed the song during their battlefield operations.[7] Because of its stance as the martial theme of the Imperial Navy, it played during various graduation ceremonies for the Navy, including that of then-Imperial Navy cadet Han Solo in 10 BBY,[2] as well as in recruitment/propaganda films, such as one Luke Skywalker watched during the events of the First Battle of Tatooine.[8] In the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin, several musicians occasionally played the musical piece, as well as at least one statuette playing the piece whenever someone approached 12 meters of distance from it.[1] In 11 ABY, the Imperial researcher Leonis Murthé hummed this song when attempting to cut up via lightsaber one of his "patients," a member of the Gulmarid species that were tortured by him.[9]


Gnome-speakernotes Imperial March.oog (info)
an excerpt from the Martial Theme of the Empire (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack)
Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Piano versionEdit

Gnome-speakernotes ImpMarch-RC.ogg (info)
an excerpt from the piano version of the Martial Theme of the Empire (Star Wars: Republic Commando soundtrack)
Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Behind the scenesEdit

Known as "The Imperial March" out-of-universe, the musical theme was used in both the films (barring A New Hope) and the Expanded Universe of the Star Wars saga. Although it was normally an out-of-universe song (see main article), there have been instances in the Expanded Universe where it was used as an in-universe music piece, most notably in A. C. Crispin's book The Paradise Snare. Although it was never given an in-universe name in this instance, Han Solo and the narration did refer to it as the martial theme of the Empire during the graduation ceremony.

In Star Wars: Galaxies, the Imperial March is playable via jukeboxes, although it is unknown whether it was a true in-universe piece due to it also playing out-of-universe pieces such as the Star Wars Main Theme. Similarly, it was also referred to in-universe as the Imperial March by musician classes and in the description of the Darth Vader statuette in Star Wars Galaxies.



Notes and referencesEdit

See alsoEdit

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