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Professor Oak’s not in Pokémon Sun and Moon, but his chilled-out cousin is

Even the prof’s got an Alolan version

Pokémon Sun and Moon are shaping up to be a tropical throwback to the original Game Boy Pokémon games, with classic Pokémon returning in updated, slightly disturbing fashion. That nostalgic vein has never been clearer than in a new Japanese trailer that dropped last night, which seems to bring back someone very familiar.

professor oak alola

Don’t get too excited, Pokémon lovers of yore: This Oak is not what he seems. The tanned, long-haired vacationer isn’t Kanto’s beloved Pokémon scientist taking a well-deserved break. Instead, it’s his cousin, whose name is Samson Oak. (That's pretty darn close to Samuel Oak, the Kanto region scholar's full name.)

The Pokémon Sun and Moon site explains that although they look like twins, they’re just relatives. He also has an academic interest in Pokémon, and he specifically researches their regional variations.

Who knows if Samson Oak has an expanded role beyond this. Even if he just exists as a sight gag for Pokémon fans returning to the series after 20 years, he’s yet another intriguing addition to Sun and Moon’s cast. The Nintendo 3DS games launch stateside on Nov. 18, with plenty of new features included among the familiar faces. See some of those in action in the Japanese trailer above.

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