Did Jason Momoa Threaten to Not Shoot Aquaman 2 Over Thirty Meter Telescope Protests?

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BY September 4, 2019

For those in Hawaii participating in the Thirty Meter Telescope protests, a big-screen comic book hero just rode to their rescue. (On a wave, no doubt.) Jason Momoa, DC’s Aquaman, traveled to his birthplace of Hawaii, where he took in some motorcycle riding and cultural exchange with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Yet, he’s also joined the Thirty Meter Telescope protests that have led to the temporary shutdown of 13 observatories on one of Hawaii’s most important mountains, Mauna Kea. A recent court ruling allowed development of the Thirty Meter Telescope to continue, despite legal action from native Hawaiians to whom it’s sacred land. With construction scheduled to begin again, protesters flocked to the site. Singing songs and celebrating native culture, they occupied the space preventing building from continuing. And Jason Momoa joined them.

In a series of Instagram posts, Momoa highlighted the fight led by the protesters. He called them sacred protectors. He also wrote protest messages on his body and his son’s in black marker. They posted for pictures and participated in events on the site. Yet, things may be getting more tense according to his most recent post. In the caption, Momoa warns “Warner Bros. we can’t shoot Aquaman 2, because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land.” He then encourages his fans to share the image of the construction of the Subaru Telescope, also on Mauna Kea.

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Hawai’i State Canoe Championships HCRA. Full represent for the MAUNA The facts the truth TMT + MAUNA KEA = DESECRATION. The solution TMT + CANARY ISLANDS = DISCOVERY. If not Canary Islands. then tough shit send it to space. We support science. More importantly it’s astronomy and we support that also considering we Polynesians have sailed our oceans guided by the stars But this has to stop you can not build an 18 story building on our sacred mountain. If u can’t build past 7 story’s in Hilo or Kona then who decides and why the FUCK would u build 18 on our mauna Shame on you. Anyone who supports this shame on you. Have you not taken enough from the Kānaka Maoli. Aole TMT #kukiaimauna #wearemaunakea #dadbodsrule #livealoha #alohaalwayswins #canaryislandshelpUs Aloha BIG J

A post shared by Jason Momoa (@prideofgypsies) on

What is the Thirty Meter Telescope?

The Thirty Meter Telescope, as planned, will be the largest telescope that uses the visible light spectrum on the mountain. If they build it on the site, it will be the last such observatory allowed on Mauna Kea. The protests sparked up because of the sacred history of the proposed site. Boasting a thirty-meter diameter light-gathering mirror comprised of 492 segmented pieces, that will deliver resolution never before seen from a land-based telescope. If it’s built on Mauna Kea, it will be the tallest such observatory in the world. Because of this, the project enjoys support from Canadian, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian space agencies.

Thirty Meter Telescope Protests

Is He Really Not Going to Shoot Aquaman 2?

It’s fair to infer that Momoa is being slightly hyperbolic here. His anger at the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope is, of course, legitimate. It’s unlikely he won’t show up for Aquaman 2, however. This is probably not a threat to Warner Bros., who have nothing to do with the Thirty Meter Telescope, but rather a public statement. The protests are peaceful for now, but some (including Momoa) may be willing to sacrifice their bodies to stop construction. Whether that means facing off with security, chaining themselves to equipment, or just a healthy dose of bravado, it may not come to that. While the issue is far from settled, the NPR reports that the Astronomers hoping to build the TMT, filed an application to their backup site in the Canary Islands. The site in Hawaii is still “the preferred site,” but the protests shook their resolve a bit.

If construction resumes, will Jason Momoa throw himself in front of a bulldozer? Only he knows, but hopefully the protests remain peaceful and no one ends up injured. It’s unclear how long Momoa will stay with the protests. Nonetheless, he’s using his platform to raise awareness about the issue. With many private and public space agencies from across the globe involved, moving the site creates many problems for them. However, to the Hawaiian people, the location will destroy land that has special meaning to their faith and their history. If these protests fail, hopefully the activists take solace in the fact that there will be no more observatories on Mauna Kea.


Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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