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SPOILERS Possible themes of Sword and Shield's story:

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What's really interesting about these two games is the potential of how they could contrast SM in terms of themes and story.

SM had a gimmick and legendaries running on light, and cooperation was talked about rather often. SS' gimmick appears to run on darkness, and it seems personal prowess is more paramount to the region's culture. (for the Destiny fans out there, you can probably see where this is going).

SM's take on bonds was largely familial and of the biological family at that. SS could have a bond story about true friendship and family of choice (given that Leon could be either evil or a fraud, and rose and oleana could be bede's parents, there's at least two, possibly three rivals with family trouble who find closer bonds in each other).

SM's villians were a mockery of the pokemon world's competitiveness (skull) and a testament to obsession with a loved one (Lusamine and Aether). Both were pretty deconstructive. SS could parody "teams for the sake of teams" (yell) and deconstruct another aspect of the player's behavior in a pokemon game: ignoring the story and world just to fight (Radley and the Armigers, should they actualy exist).

One could argue that SM is about finding the light within both yourself, and even in the worst of people (more obvious in the sequels); even in the original, Lusamine was redeemed, as was Guzma and Plumeria. If so, SS could be about finding and dealing with the darkness within yourself and those closest to you: everyone has a dark side, and thinks vile thoughts, even the kindest people you know, or your closest friends. Perhaps Galarites seek strength to deal with their darkness, but perhaps the ultimate feat of strength comes not from purging, quelling, or surpressing the darkness, but simply accepting it. It must be there for light to shine, after all.
 
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Aspiration. Ambition. A recurring theme of the pokemon world as a whole. This can be made to go along with anything, but tying it to Ubi Sunt has interesting implications.

Owing to SM's take on bonds (and its deconstruction thereoff), I'd like to see the same approach applied to aspiration and ambition.
 
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A lot of people have been comparing Galar to Kalos, but I think in many ways they are shaping up to be polar opposite regions in terms of culture and the personality traits they seem to value:

-The Galar Pokemon League is based on the UK's Premier League and really seems to cultivate and cater to the more competitive side of Pokémon battling (hence the battles in stadiums, corporate sponsors, and League Cards), while Trainers from Kalos seem to have much more of an appreciation for the finer things in life. Siebold for example sees Pokémon battles as an art & will yell at you if you dare say otherwise, Valerie is a quiet & mysterious lady who dresses up as a fairy, Viola has a hobby of photography, etc.

-Similarly, Diantha is more known in-universe for being an actress than she is for being Champion (and she has a humble attitude about it all). Leon on the other hand is his own kind of rock star, a Champion who is explicitly said to have never lost a single battle and has many admirers.

-Your friends in Pokémon XY have very personal goals and there is an underlying theme of enjoying the journey together, while in Pokémon Sword & Shield the Rival characters are all true Rivals competing with you for a shot at becoming Champion (hence the focus is much more on the goal).

-Clemont was very much your stereotypical nerd, and science was also a pretty big theme of XY's story, with Team Flare having a very sciency motif while the climax delved into some of the darker themes of resources & overpopulation. With Galar, we don’t really know for sure yet, but when I look at the Galar League I kind of see a region run by and for anti-intellectual jock types.

-Mega Evolution has already been confirmed to not be in Sword & Shield at all, being replaced by Dynamax

-Both regions have a similar kind of medieval history

-Etc., etc.

And most importantly, IRL, the UK and France have always been quite opposite from one another and have a rivalry.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if all of this was done on purpose.
 
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Hmm...I've been thinking about how in a prior interview Ohmori referenced how there were a lot of legends surrounding Giants in the UK, and how there's a statue of some sort of warrior in the gyms and how the Galar map has a mysterious cave... makes me wonder if Galar has some sort of equivalent to the giant Finn McCool or something. :unsure:

Could be interesting if this actually ties into Dynamaxing some way.
 
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My final predictions for the storyline:

-Leon is the Lusamine of these games. His air of arrogance about being Champion when you first meet him is meant to be kind of an early red flag that he might not be as nice as he seems when he gives you your starter and endorsement for the Gym Challenge.

-Leon catches the opposite legendary wolf to your version. He plans to use it in order to become unbeatable in battle & maintain his undefeated streak and title of Galar Champion forever. Therefore, you catch your version's legendary wolf in order to use it against Leon in a BW1 N-style Champion battle.

-Oleana goes along with this whole scandal because she feels like having Leon as Champion helps their TV network's ratings due to his charisma and popularity. It's revealed that she had a part in covering it up from the public.

-Hop is very much the Lillie of these games. The Broken Pedestal trope (Broken Pedestal - TV Tropes) makes for some pretty big Tear Jerker moments between him and his older brother during the climax. In the end, Victor/Gloria is able to help him get over his Heroic BSOD, and the two become close friendly rivals.

-Mernie is more or less a female Gladion, and Team Yell's leader is another player in this whole 3D Chess game.

-Sonia reveals to you & Hop that in their childhoods when they both took on the Galar League, Leon was genuinely a very kind person and a talented trainer...but then he became popular, won the title of Champion, and let the power go to his head.
 
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