Invasion: What Does Wajo Mean?

Summary

  • “Wajo” in Invasion means “castle” in Japanese, signifying the large alien presence that destroyed the JASA shuttle and highlighting the scale of the threat humanity faces.
  • Hinata’s use of the word “Wajo” in her final moments suggests an enormous, fortified alien ship that defied description, setting up a foreboding confrontation for humanity.
  • Hinata’s sighting of the “Wajo” acted as a pivotal moment in Invasion’s storyline, confirming concrete evidence of alien life interacting with humans and leading to the JASA organization sounding the alarm of alien domination.

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Apple TV+’s Invasion is no stranger to ending its episodes on a cliffhanger, leaving audiences to wonder about the “Wajo” meaning after the coda of the first season episode, “Orion.” Invasion tells the story of various individuals spread across the globe, who each have to deal with an alien invasion and its social and psychological fallout. As something of a slow-burn series when it started, Apple TV+’s Invasion left a smattering of otherworldly breadcrumbs throughout each episode, with the word “Wajo” as part of an early throng of disparate extraterrestrial clues.

By the climax of “Orion,” Mitsuki Yamato (Shioli Kutsuna) was hell-bent on finding out the fate of her lover Hinata (Rinko Kikuchi). Aided by her loyal fellow technician Kaito (Daisuke Tsuji), Mitsuki breaks into JASA’s records room and accesses the final video footage from the ill-fated space shuttle mission, unearthing a harrowing revelation. Mitsuki sees archival video of Hinata’s last moments as she is sucked into space, with the shuttle crew member only being able to mutter one faint word: “Wajo,” leaving Invasion audiences to wonder exactly what does Wajo mean.

The Meaning Of Wajo

Mitsuki in Hinata's beach memory in Invasion season 2 episode 6

In the context of Simon Kinberg’s Invasion, Wajo means “castle” in Japanese, alluding to the scale of the alien presence that destroyed the JASA shuttle. Hinata’s final words shed further light on the scale of the threat facing humanity in Invasion, with the object she sees before being jettisoned into space assumedly the size of a castle. This use of Wajo means that a massive alien ship attacked Hinata’s shuttle, whose footage translated into a first-contact moment for the Invasion narrative.

In her final moments, Hinata’s choice of words was a telling use of language for Invasion‘s storyline and set up an ominous confrontation for humanity. Hinata and the other JASA shuttle members were undoubtedly trained in identifying and communicating with other spacecraft, meaning that whatever Hinata saw from the side of the shuttle must have defied description. The word castle suggests an enormous, fortified position (re: the scale of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune craft), which tracks in the context of Invasion‘s premise as the JASA shuttle is pulverized.

The Impact Wajo Has On Invasion

Invasion crop circle

Whereas other Invasion extraterrestrial encounters at that time were fleeting, such as Sheriff Tyson’s (Sam Neill) stabbing or Luke Malik’s (Azhy Robertson) telepathic contact, Hinata’s death confirmed concrete, on-camera evidence of alien life interacting with humans. In terms of its implications for Invasion‘s storyline, this translated to the JASA being the organization to sound the alarm of alien domination, particularly given Ikuro’s (Toko Igawa) confirmation that other nations’ satellites had also gone dark.

In this way, Hinata’s Wajo sighting acted as a nexus moment for Invasion‘s story, given the militarized connotations a castle holds. This description, and the idea of the scope and size of the invaders, set up the eventual attacks and battles that raged across Earth in Invasion’s first two seasons. The attacks were monumental, and while victories happened on small scales, it was clear that humanity was not prepared for what was coming. The Wajo meaning was that it was a massive castle-sized threat coming, and that paid off. Hinata’s description of an unseen, hulking power marked Invasion‘s scariest moment leading into the eventual alien invasion.

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