Pokémon is one the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, if not the highest, owing to its strong sales in video games, merchandise, and at the box office. The protagonists Ash and Pikachu are nearly synonymous with the series, and even those unfamiliar with Pokémon in general are often aware of Pikachu.
As some fans might recall, Ash and Pikachu weren’t exactly meant to be together as revealed in the first episode. On the day Ash was supposed to meet up with Professor Oak, he overslept and by the time he made it to Oak’s lab, his rival Gary had already taken the other three starter Pokémon – Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. That left only Pikachu, and Ash had no choice in the matter. However, there is a fan theory that says that this pairing up was more than just bad luck or a coincidence; in fact, it might have been much larger than anything anyone ever imagined.
Why did Ash end up with Pikachu instead of some other Pokémon?
In the movie Pokemon4Ever, forty years before Ash and co. started exploring the different regions of the Pokémon world, a young boy named Sammy saves a legendary Pokémon called Celebi from a nefarious Pokémon Hunter. Despite being injured, Celebi manages to create a portal in time and transports itself and Sammy to the present time, where they soon meet up with Ash and Pikachu.
After adventuring together for some time, as is often the norm in Pokémon movies and media, Sammy, Celebi, Ash, and Pikachu naturally grow closer to each other. But before too long it’s time to depart and Sammy and Celebi return to their original timeline. It’s revealed in the epilogue of the story that Sammy was actually a younger Samuel Oak – or Professor Oak, as fans might know him. He acts as Ash’s mentor and father figure, keeps an eye on the Pokémon not in Ash’s party, and even gives him the Pokedex.
So, presumably to avoid breaking the rules of time travel and potentially destroying the Pokémon world, Oak ensures that Ash ends up with Pikachu so as to keep the timeline the same. Or so this theory says, at least, and it can be extended even further to the Pokedex, since Ash showed it to young Sammy and explained to him what exactly it was, and Sammy grew up and invented the Pokedex.
What is the movie Pokemon4Ever about?
Pokemon4ever released back in 2001, is the fourth official movie in the Pokémon franchise, as the ‘4’ in the title indicates. Apart from the science fiction elements in terms of the time travel that forms the crux of the story, this movie acts as an ecologically friendly fantasy movie in many ways.
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Celebi is the protector of the forest, or the Voice of the Forest, the latter of which is even an alternate title to the movie. Through its vast powers, Celebi allows Ash and Sammy to see the forest as it does: as a place of natural beauty and a sanctuary for all life. Celebi shows them some fruits they’ve never eaten before, and takes them to a place where they see hundreds of Pokémon evolve at dawn and more. All of this profoundly impacts the two young trainers.