"The Empire Strikes Back." (AP)

Could the “Imperial March” become a leitmotif associated not just with the dark side of the Force, but also with a dark horse candidate? Ponder Ron Paul’s chances of clinching the nomination to the tune of John Williams’s “Imperial March”:

The music — representing the embodiment of evil in the Star Wars universe — could be seen as a peculiar choice for a president, but it’s by no means the only time a candidate’s musical preferences have been questioned.

As The Post’s music critic Chris Richards noted in June, “supporters of Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry used Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ in an online video, and GOP Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky, (Ron Paul’s son), has played Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ on the trail.”

Those aren’t even the controversial ones. In June, Michele Bachmann joined a contingency of Republican candidates chastised by musicians for using their songs. Tom Petty sent Bachmann a cease-and-desist letter after she used his song, “American Girl,” without permission.

Thankfully, Darth Vader is a fictional character. Because if he were unhappy with Paul’s choice, the light-saber-wielding villain would chose a slightly more aggressive way to express his annoyance than just writing a letter.

Update: The song played before Paul took the stage.