for years, pokemon games have carried a few traditions from game to game, and one of those traditions has been that every pokemon professor has had a tree-based name. From Professor Oak to Professor Magnolia, every professor in a mainline pokemon game has been as unique as their namesake. That tradition, however, seems to be coming to an end with the most recent games in the series, Pokemon Scarlet and Violetbut there might be a good reason for the break.
Scarlet and Violet‘s newest professors, Professor Sada and Professor Turo, might be the first professors in a mainline pokemon game to not share a name with a tree. While it has not been officially confirmed, it’s believed that each professor’s name is based on the Spanish words “pasada” and “futuro.” Pasada roughly translates to “to pass” or “past.” On the other hand, futuro translates to “future.” The new Paldea region is heavily based on Spain, so it would make sense that some names would borrow from the Spanish language. These names may not be based on trees, but they do represent important themes for each game.
Along with breaking the tradition of naming professors after trees and plants, Scarlet and Violet will also be the first games in the pokemon series to give players a different professor based on the version of the game they get. Players who choose Pokemon Scarlet will have Professor Sada, and players who choose pokemon violet will get Professor Turo. As fans might assume by the translations and visuals of each game, this plays into the games’ themes of “past” and “future.” Scarlet has visuals that appear more rough and archaic, and Violet‘s style is smoother, sleeker, and more futuristic. Obviously, the color scheme also plays a part in differentiating the two themes, and even the games’ legendaries are designed differently to give each a distinctive “past” or “future” feel.
Not all hope is lost for any fan who might not be a fan of this break in tradition. While their names aren’t based on trees, they can still connect to plants, albeit extremely loosely. Sada is technically part of the scientific name for the Madagascar Periwinkle flower, Sada Bahar. Unfortunately, there is no plant or tree sharing a name with Professor Turo. However, there is a small park in Spain called “Parc Del Turó,” which contains a variety of flowers, trees, and plants. Although the professors’ names are almost definitely based on the words for “past” and “future,” it is still interesting that their names can actually share a relation to plants in an incredibly loose way.
As upsetting as it may be for some fans, this change in name should not have any bearing on the quality of the games whatsoever. None of the pokemon professor names have ever been “normal” anyway, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus also debatably introduced a professor with a non-plant name in Professor Laventon. Arceus has become a fan favorite pokemon game, and previous spin-off games have likewise broken from tradition. It’s something that is bittersweet but necessary for the series to continue bringing new experiences to fans.
The change in the pokemon professor names is not the only change coming to Scarlet and Violet. Along with giving players a different professor based on which game they play, players will also be able to tackle gyms in any order they wish. There will also be two additional areas of the story for fans to experience. The changes should have some incredible implications for not only these games but all future pokemon games going forward. Game Freak will likely continue to change, update, and adapt the pokemon game formula, keeping the games fresh, fun, and meaningful for fans.