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Reykjavík names a street after Darth Vader, Iceland’s favorite son

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

As reported by HitFix, the city of Reykjavík in Iceland has decided to rename a street in its Höfði industrial district after beloved intergalactic tyrant Darth Vader. It won’t be named Darth Vader Street, though, because—and this may surprise you—they don’t speak English in Iceland. Instead, it will be named Svarthöfði, which translates to “Black-Head,” Vader’s name in the Icelandic translation of Star Wars. Reykjavík’s mayor even tweeted about it… at least we think he did:


HitFix says the name change came from suggestions submitted to a Reykjavík website, but this isn’t about a bunch of nerds tricking the city into doing something silly, as the “Black-Head” name is actually based on a previously established naming convention for things in the Höfði area. As Iceland Magazine explains it, every street in the Höfði district has “höfði” in its name, which can either translate to “head” or “cape”—as in the geographical feature, not the thing Black-Head wears in Icelandic Star Wars. So this didn’t come about because people thought it would be funny to name a thing after Black-Head. In fact, Iceland Magazine even goes into a whole thing praising its system of linguistic purism. Still, this all makes Iceland sound pretty cool, which we assume was the point of naming a street after Darth Vader in the first place. Well played, Reykjavík.

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