A new trailer for Pokémon Sun and Moon dropped today, and while it was mostly uninteresting footage, for a split second you can catch a glimpse of a guy with a very distinctive face (h/t SleepyJirachi.)

For comparison’s sake, here’s the Professor Oak we all know and love from prior games/the anime:

Translations online of this Sun and Moon character’s name say that the game calls him “Oak,” but not Professor Oak, which raises some questions. The name and face similarities suggest this is more than mere coincidence, so there are a few possibilities here:

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  • Professor Oak also has an Alolan form
  • This isn’t Professor Oak, but rather a relative of some sort UPDATE 11:36 PM: Yes, this is Professor Oak’s cousin according to official sources. I wonder what role he will play? The Pokémon website says that he “does research on the regional variants that have taken root in the Alola region.”
  • Professor Oak has retired
  • This IS Professor Oak, but from like, a different dimension or something. After Pokémon ORAS, we do know there are parallel universes—for all we know, this is just a different reality.

The last two bullet points here probably seem far-fetched, but there is an ongoing theory held by Pokémon fans that the upcoming games will somehow incorporate tapping into different dimensions / realities, as I touch on below:

Or maybe this is just a random dude that Game Freak highlighted for some reason. Somehow, that possibility seems like the most unlikely one of all, though.