The 10 Best Character & Faction Musical Themes

The 10 Best Character & Faction Musical Themes

It’s fair to say that the Star Wars franchise has some of the most astonishing music in cinematic history. Leading the way, John Williams has crafted a range of gorgeous themes which have been adapted and added to by a range of talented composers. The tapestry of music associated with the movies and TV shows is beautiful.

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A theme needs to sum up the character or faction that it’s centered on. Emotionally it has to resonate with the audience and should be applied to a range of scenarios. These themes work in all kinds of scenes and still sum up the personality of the individual with ease.


Honorable Mention: The Mandalorian And Boba Fett

Mando, Fennec, and Boba Fett in The Mandalorian

It’s hard to ignore the quality or indeed the cultural impact of both the Mandalorian and Boba Fett themes. Both act as introductions to their shows but also follow the characters across their respective appearances as well. They are violent and proud scores, acting as a perfect summation of badass Bounty Hunters like Fett.

But when combined, as was the case in The Book Of Boba Fett, these themes become an even more impressive display of musical production from Ludwig Göransson. They marry together so well almost becoming a metaphor for the working partnership Mando and Fett seem to share.

The Empire

Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back

While Anakin’s theme is certainly impressive, as it moves from the childlike wonder of the young man to the ominous tones of Darth Vader, it pays homage to ‘The Imperial March’ which has become one of the most famous scores in all of Star Wars history.

This score, which links back to the faction of the Empire and the dark lord of the Sith himself, is arguably the best villain theme in history. There’s a feeling of dread that accompanies the music, as the presence of evil itself moves ever closer. It’s amongst John Williams’ most celebrated works.


Daisey Ridley as Rey in Star Wars Rise of Skywalker

John Williams has proven that he hasn’t lost a step, no matter how many times he returns to the franchise in a galaxy far far away. With a new sequel trilogy, audiences were introduced to a very different leading hero. Rey needed a theme that could stand out amongst a crowded orchestra of greatest hits.

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There’s a whimsicality to the score which was perhaps unexpected but it demonstrates the curiosity of the young explorer. The theme builds as the adventurer makes her way into the world of the Jedi; one she never expected to experience herself. It’s probably the most recognizable addition to Star Wars music from the sequels.

The Bad Batch

Star wars The Bad Batch episode 14

Kevin Kiner’s work is certainly well respected but for Disney+ to cement another animated show in the minds of fans that had already witnessed classic sagas in the format, The Bad Batch required an exceptional theme. The music is both the opening of the cartoon and accompanies the group on their various missions.

It feels grittier and grimier than most other musical works from the series, moving distinctly away from the traditional sounds of Star Wars into a more action-based world. It’s a theme that screams heroism, as the brave Bad Batch themselves leap into undeniably tough odds.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Obi-Wan was first introduced to audiences as Ben Kenobi and that’s when John Williams laid the initial groundwork for his theme. Although the prequel trilogy added to the piece, bringing in more energetic layers to represent his youth in the Jedi Order, the original theme did everything it needed to.

There’s something mysterious about the piece of music, that glints the charm and whimsy that has often accompanied the elder master. But it’s also grand and almost regal as if the score itself holds great respect for the well-journeyed warrior.

The Skywalkers

Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano in The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 6

There have been plenty of attempts to shift the Skywalker theme and perhaps expand it or use it in various ways. Honestly, though, the purest summation of the Skywalker score can be found when any member of the family stares at those twin suns of Tatooine.

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It always launches into the main score of the series, which by extension feels a part of the Skywalker legacy in a way that other musical compositions can’t quite muster. The music feels like it holds a history, clearly denoting the importance of this Force-sensitive bloodline.


Yoda gives Luke advice while on dagobah

While not every character gained their theme throughout the original trilogy, Yoda had to receive a score that summed up such an odd creature. John Williams came up with a composition that’s different from everything else in the movie, but always marks the return of the Jedi Master.

It’s quite a fun piece, reflecting the jokes and penchant for mischief that Yoda is known for. It holds gravity too as if the music itself is somehow strong with the Force. It might have been utilized somewhat in the prequels, but the scenes on Dagobah and later with an older Luke on Ahch-To are the best representation of it.

The Ghost’s Crew

Zeb and Ezra return to Hera and the Ghost with the Meiloorun and lie about destroying the TIE Fighter in Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Rebels brought the crew of the Ghost to viewers, with the team getting involved with the Rebel Alliance and thus pushing back the Empire. The opening number which has been tailored to represent the chaotic group itself is just as heroic as might be expected.

It takes the traditional Star Wars theme and quickly morphs it, partially hitting on some of the beats of the Rebel Alliance’s music and also adding a unique flavor that will be forever associated with Ezra and his found family. Kevin Kiner outdid himself here!

Leia Organa

Leia Organa in Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

While many of the themes that John Williams created are fast and chaotic, reflecting the war-torn galaxy that these protagonists will have to venture through, he chose a much calmer feel for Leia Organa’s piece. There’s a romanticism to it, but a strength that reflects on her abilities as an inspirational leader.

It’s uplifting and tragic at the same time, celebrating the legacy that the princess will leave behind but never forgetting the violence and destruction that created that opportunity, to begin with. It has also come to elegantly sum up the complex romance between the Smuggler Han Solo and the Resistance General, alongside hitting many of Leia’s unmistakable traits.

Cad Bane

Star Wars steals from a range of genres and while Samurai films might have been a huge influence on the saga, it’s hard to ignore the impact of the Western. Cad Bane is the epitome of the lone gunslinger; a hired hand willing to do what it takes to secure a payday.

His theme is therefore no-nonsense, playing into some of the sounds fans might expect from a piece of Western music. It’s brash and unyielding, but there’s a hint of honor there as well as Cad Bane has been known to follow his code in the past.

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George Chrysostomou
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Politics graduate, freelance writer and all around film geek. If George isn’t lecturing someone on the history of the MCU, he’s probably ranting about the political consequences of Boris Johnson’s latest hairstyle.

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