Ron Paul's Campaign Song Is... The Star Wars Imperial March

Candidates campaigning for the Presidential ticket usually opt for safe campaign songs carefully chosen to align themselves consciously and subconsciously with certain sets of values, but last night, Ron Paul went a different route: He and his supporters celebrated their second-place victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary to the sounds of "The Imperial March" from Star Wars. Yes, Darth Vader's theme song.

Most folks know the Imperial March is not your traditional signifier of wholesome, upstanding goodness. I mean, it's Darth Vader's personal theme, the ditty that warns of impending throat crushings and legions of Stormtroopers at the ready to exact all manner of evil for the dark side. But Paul, as the Telegraph noted, knows his demographic. And he gave a rally cry of a speech following his New Hampshire success that explained the song choice, kinda.

"I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being 'dangerous,' Paul said to a crowd that reportedly cheered the loudest when the ominous Vader tune played over the loudspeakers. "That’s one thing they are telling the truth, because we are dangerous -- to the status quo!"


Over at NPR's Morning Edition geek props are in order to Robert Smith for his amusing report on the random confluence of Star Wars and Ron Paul, which suggests that Paul is channeling more Skywalker than Vader: "Getting the nomination for Ron Paul is like hitting a 2-meter target from an X-wing fighter." Which makes New Hampshire voters, perhaps, the womp rats?

In any case, just another curious instance of pop culture co-opting after all that superhero chatter and Paul's Bond villain-esque nickname, "Dr. No." (He does kind of resemble an impish Joseph Wiseman...)

[NPR, Telegraph]


  • Mike_Doc says:

    George Lucas would like to report a rape...

  • ManinNH says:

    Why is it the media can't get anything right. i was there last night and Dr. Paul was presented to the stage with Tom Patty's I won't back down. Before anyone took the stage, the DJ played the Star Wars theme song. Was anyone paying attention? Unbelievable media Hogwash, again!

    Dr. Ron Paul 2012
    Restore America Now!

    • Donchi says:

      Why are you Ron Paul supporters so obsessed with FACTS, man? What a bunch NERDS. Lies are cool! And needed. How would we have ever gotten the American people to be ok with invading Iraq without a bunch of LIES. You Ron Paul morons all are hung up on being Boy Scouts. Read some Leo Strauss. He talks about how you have to dupe the people with lies for their own good. It's really deep, man. All the neocons and far-right Zionists are Straussian liars. You squares.

      • mkjhn says:

        When you wind up in court for a crime you did not commit, I think you'll understand the value of truth. Be careful what you say, one day just might come back to bite you in the butt.

        • Donchi says:

          Yeah. I was parodying... never mind. just know that I wasn't serious.

          • Terryah says:

            Perhaps after you've lost your job and all belongings to this New World Order... to pay a debt you did not create... you will then get serious. Ron Paul is our only hope.

          • AS says:

            He doesn't believe in separation of church and sate, he's anti gun control, he supported "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he's anti abortion, he's doesn't believe that climate change is a serious issue and he supports the electoral college. If he's our "only hope," we're all screwed.

      • Matthew says:

        Haha great post Donchi. C'mon guys, lighten up! Learn to tell your enemies from your friends! Can't you recognize sarcasm when you see it? I cracked up.

        Ron Paul 2012!

  • Stevezor says:

    Jen Yamato, you are an idiot. Ron Paul walked out to "I Won't Back Down," not the Imperial March. Get your facts straight.

    • Jen Yamato says:

      "He and his supporters celebrated their second-place victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary to the sounds of 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars."

      Is this not true, Stevezor?

      By all accounts it played during the celebration leading into his taking the stage. You can hear supporters cheering in the NPR piece as the song plays.

      • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

        Sigh. Paul-itics as usual!

      • Charles says:

        Ms. Yamato,

        Given Representative Paul's documented penchant to speak vociferously against imperialism, isn't it probable or likely (or at least possible) that the "Imperial" theme was played prior to the Congressman's arrival only to be replaced by the song "I won't back down" upon his arrival?

        I understand that if you openly acknowledged my point, the title of your opinion article (among other things) would probably need to be changed.
        Nonetheless, I hope that you consider what I and several other individuals have written here concerning the imagery that your chosen title probably evokes.



        P.S. Your links to the music of "The Imperial March" and "Darth Vader" seem misconnected.


  • j'accuse! says:

    Looks like you got some Paultards, Jen. Gotta love 'em.

    • jfwaveman says:

      yeah, why can't the 'tards just shut up & let journalists report misinformation?

    • Rienone says:


      • Terryah says:

        Finally, the top authority on "Jerking" has spoken! We bow to your eminent wisdom, oh great Rienone! A new religion is born: "Jerkism". And ye art the Jerkest of the Jerks.

    • Jon says:

      Oh look, Jen, looks like you got an asshole. Gotta love 'em for ruining our country.

    • Jacob says:

      Wow. Why so condescending? You imagine yourself to be superior?


    • j'accuse! says:

      Wow. Classic Paultard overreaction. You guys do know that your frenzied, obsessive Paultard behavior is the number one impediment to more people liking your candidate, right?

      That being said, I'm sure Jen was just writing a fun article about the intersection of politics and pop culture, not, you know, trying to scuttle Dr. Paul's chances by linking him to Darth Vader. But whatever, believe what you want.

  • Butler Reynolds says:

    OK, so they may have played "I Won't Back Down", but the Vader Theme is cool.

    • Jon says:

      I saw the speech live and didn't even notice the music!...I think it's funny if they did indeed play it. My favorite line is when he thanked the union leader for not endorsing him lol

  • kenneth says:

    You understand j'accuse! that lumping ron paul supporters into a group and rather distastefully reffering to them as retarded. Is one of the most ironic and frustrating things to happen under a regular basis these days. I understand uyou wanna be loyal to whatever preceived "team" you think your a part of...but those people sold you out man. You can be arrested by the milatary now. the economy is in shambles. I mean for christs sake just read about ron paul. Just fill your head with some factual information and please please think about it. or just dont vote. thats an easy way to put it. if you dont read dont vote

    • Matthew says:

      I appreciate the fact that you're a Ron Paul supporter but please don't put as many grammatical and spelling errors as you did in the same post as you denounce someone for calling us retarded. Remember the old saying, "Its better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you're stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt," right? Represent Ron Paul and all of us, his supporters, intelligently please.

      Ron Paul 2012!!

      • Userlevel6 says:

        That's not quite the right quote, but you got the jist of it. Google's your friend, dude! ;)
        "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

        Funny, how us Ron Paul supporters DO pay attention to detail. I take it as a sign of intelligence.

        So we've got a large percentage of nerds among us, might as well embrace it, laugh about it, and turn it to our advantage. It would help our cause if our passion and enthusiasm were better tempered with a dose of self-defecating humor.

  • Nowhere in the article does it state that he walked out to it, merely that he celebrated second place with the use of it.

    Reading Comprehension: It's not just for Twilight books anymore!

    • Jen Yamato says:

      Gracias, Winchester.

    • biased says:

      The article calls it Paul's "theme song" you idiot.

    • Um, and what is the TITLE of the article? The question mark is only part of the shell game of perception. It is poised as a mark of incredulity but really serves as the back peddle for them to say, "We weren't saying it actually WAS the theme song..."

      It's tantamount to me walking up to you, kicking you in the shin and then saying, "Sorry, that was an accident." I chalk it up to the ongoing erosion of journalism more than any political motivation.

      Either way, the intention was to get people to THINK it was his theme song so they would read the article. You know, National Enquirer style.

  • Rob Pola says:

    If you're going to make something up at least make it believable.

    Everyone knows greedy Lucas would want at least several million $ for the rights to play the Imperial Theme.

    The Ron Paul campaign can't afford this.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    OK fine, updated with clarification. Now can we talk about how Ron Paul and his people PLAYED THE DARTH VADER SONG IN A CELEBRATORY MANNER AT HIS VICTORY PARTY???

  • MediaFailsAgain says:

    Media FAIL

  • Charles says:

    My guess is that the DJ was tweaking the warmongers who smear Paul as "dangerous" (remember when it was the peaceniks who smeared Goldwater as "dangerous"?).

    Anyway I think the Throne Room And End Title would work better than the Imperial March:

  • Jacob says:

    To the author:

    The point is that the Imperial March music represents the mighty Empire, the Establishment, which we are fighting against. We play it mockingly as we celebrate another victory. We are the freedom fighters, the Jedi.

    The question is, who are YOU?

    • Jen Yamato says:

      That makes some sense I suppose, even if the mocking intent doesn't translate very well. Kind of a strange idea, but I give points to Paul for ballsiness and general Star Wars awareness. I might suggest something more along the lines of "Yub Nub" for the next victory celebration, though. Much clearer usage.

      To answer your question, who am I? I'm more of a Trekkie. Now there's a campaign branding idea that's up for grabs -- "Boldly going where no candidate has gone before."

      • Dochi says:

        Mocking intent? You are talking about your intentions when you wrote this article, correct?

      • Jacob says:

        Very smart. And you're right that "mocking" doesn't translate well because our intent isn't threatening. Perhaps more like 80% playful and 20% mocking.

  • Donchi says:

    The fact is that when RON PAUL came out, "I Won't Back Down" was playing. That fact is omitted, because it would have made the smarmy cuteness of her story a little more complex. Is it a HUGE deal? I guess that's subjective. But the fact is, the way it's reported isn't true. Sorry, Jen-fans, but you have to admit that she tried to take a kind of condescending, patronizing view of Paul and his fans--even making fun of Paul's looks--and that's why she fell on her face. Sarcastic just doesn't look good on the ignorant.

    • Jen Yamato says:

      Hey, I didn't come up with the nickname "Dr. No," and I'm not knocking his looks. He really does kind of look like the screen Dr. No, Joseph Wiseman. Who is very handsome, btw. Disagree?

  • Joe says:

    Why is this writer unable to see that the Imperial March was chosen ironically? After all, Paul is hoping to reign in the American "Empire."

  • Butler Reynolds says:

    I like Ron Paul and yes, it is frustrating when the media says things about him that are way off base, but c'mon guys. This is not a good example of bad reporting. Let's take a chill pill and quit splitting hairs.

  • D.Torres says:

    Noam Chomsky describes Ron Paul as an
    Ultra Capitalist, an advocate of Pure
    Corporate Tyranny. Those with the resources,
    will build their own roads, private armies,
    and hire those wage slaves they like.

    • Donchi says:

      Private armies? You mean like the 17,000 mercenaries your president is keeping in Iraq? Wage slaves? You mean like virtually every government employee I know? The private roads thing is a compelling point, though. Private ROADS?!! That is truly terrifying. My God, I'm going to have nightmares now. THANKS!

  • DTorres says:

    Taxpayers would save money since Ron Paul
    would abolish the Department of Education and
    cut the Food & Drug Administration budget by 40%.

    Employers would save money by paying workers as little as they wish,
    since Ron Paul would abolish the Davis-Bacon Act.

    Corporate giants would be free to monopolize markets,
    since Ron Paul opposes federal antitrust legislation.

    And employees would no longer be required to pay into Social Security.

  • Alex says:

    Get real, Ron Paul used Tom Petty's "I wont back down". You can SEE and HEAR for yourself thanks to PBS maybe NPR should try talking to her Cousin station, just saying. Here is the real speech

    please have the moderator delete the two posts above.

  • Juan Viche says:

    Many people who watch this video change their vote.. the censorship and smears are getting ridiculous

  • Mr. Everyman says:

    Ironically, this could have been a bigger story if the true song was reported.

    "Pot smoking smelly hippies show up to Ron Paul's celebratory speech to hear Tom Petty's 'I won't Back Down' "

    That story would've been much more interesting, and at least half true.

  • Tall Pard says:

    Speaking as a Paultard, this is article isn't the typical status quo immune response that we're used to, and not really worth getting upset about, really.

    Besides, the Imperial Theme is cool, funny to use in any situation, and the author didn't even point out the Alex Jones connection.

    Ron Paul 2012
    Freedom's Last Chance

  • Freaking Giant says:

    Hey Jen (reporter)

    Your FACTS are wrong. Ron Paul did NOT walk out onto the stage to this music. In fact Ron Paul was not on stage when this music was playing. Ron was introduced by Senator Forsyth. Who was introduced by someone else..... and the music played at THAT time.

  • Samtzu says:

    You and I were at different speeches, Jen Yamato... I was there and I didn't hear any sort of Imperial March. When I would review an event for my high school newspaper, I would at least watch a video of the event. It makes charmingly simple sense; I guess I just don't really get gonzo journalism.

  • Freaking Giant says:

    Here is a clip of Ron Paul walking out:

    Wrong song....

  • markd says:

    Yeah Obi-Ron-Kenobi - only you can save us.
    Actually it was a Tom Petty song you fool