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an interesting tidbit: the battle portrait used for Guzma and Plumeria, which is more similar to the default trainer intros, is different from the one used for Gladion, which is more similar to Hau and Hala's. i wonder if that means he'll be battled more frequently than those two.
i can see it being possible, mostly because Skull and Aether seem to play off of classic chaos vs. order, black vs. white, slobs vs. refined (and so on), but as you said at this point it'd be so obvious to do a bait-and-switch plot with how they've been set up.
i feel like Team Skull is going to be vaguely anarchist and want to overthrow the existing "order" in the Trials system on Alola. maybe they'll use the box legendaries, maybe they won't. it'll be interesting to see where they go.
holy wars are ambiguous. the mass extinction dealt with in XY would be almost unanimously recognized as bad. i don't think holy war would necessarily be off the table, although it would likely take a lot of Plasma-esque writing which i'd say isn't all that ideal.