The much-awaited box legendaries of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are finally making their debut in Pokémon GO in the Astral Eclipse Event. Both these incredible Pokémon and their typing have also been of much interest to scores of people. I mean, why isn’t Solgaleo a Fire type? Why Steel type? Is Lunala being a bat a simple allude to the moon or is there something more profound to this? In a nutshell, Solgaleo and Lunala have brought about more mystery and fascination in comparison to most legendary Pokémon.
And that’s the premise of this article. We talk about battles, stats, moveset blah blah a lot, but we often end up forgetting how fascinating Pokémon, their designs, and lore are. That’s why I have often written articles on these aspects such as Garchomp’s science and design, Hydreigon being darker than you imagine, and how dragon types behave in the wild.
With that being said, let’s dig into the mesmerizing lore of our latest legendaries at the time of this writing: Solgaleo and Lunala.
The Sunne Pokémon is the box legendary of Pokémon Sun, and so it’s Fire type of course!
What do you say?
It’s not? What the- It’s Psychic/Steel type? Bruh, what’s happening here?
Well, well, well… you know… there’s so much lore and science behind this, and Solgaleo is still a perfect representation of the sun! Dex entries state Solgaleo to be the emissary of the sun, and not a personification or manifestation. This translates to Solgaleo being able to pass through various dimensions as an emissary is an entity sent on a special purpose typically by a higher power.
In fact, Solgaleo’s as metal as they come. No wonder its ability in the MSG is called Full Metal Body. Let me explain…
Solgaleo’s roots (even the sun thing) dates back to an ancient science that most of us have heard of: Alchemy. It’s medieval chemistry basically.
While most associate alchemy with gold, it’s just an example of what alchemy is by essence. You see, alchemy is all about the purification of metals, leaving behind steel in the process. But what does all this got to do with Solgaleo?
So alchemy is represented like this…
It’s Solgaleo, duh. In fact, Solgaleo is known as the “beast that devours the sun”. Checkmate! The sun-eating lion is exemplary of the purification of metals as I’d mentioned. Since gold is the most coveted metal, the very aim of alchemy has once become the conversion of metal into gold, the purest form of metal.
In ancient times, people believed the sun to be a huge and fiery ball of metal, not a ball of fire as most people would say today. Now, what if I told you that they were sort of right and we are mistaken? Surprised?
The sun technically has nothing to do with fire. It’s a star and the fiery stuff it emits in close quarters to its surface is plasma, not fire. Plasma, to the uninitiated, is often regarded as the fourth state of matter and it’s a super hot mixture of solids, liquids, and gases.
And while the sun is majorly composed of hydrogen and carbon, it also consists of metallic stuff like iron, magnesium, and other metals. As a star is devoured (Solgaleo burps), the elements responsible for fusion within the stars are unable to partake in the fusion process, and they turn into the very basic element that can’t do fusion: iron!
While iron is not exactly steel, a lot of the Steel types aren’t exactly made of steel per se. In fact, the most legit star Pokémon is Jirachi and it’s… a Steel and Psychic Pokémon!
Also worth noting is the fact that many Steel type moves are associated with light in some way or the other. Take Flash Cannon, Doom Desire, Mirror Shot, etc. And what’s the basic job profile of the sun for us? Giving us light of course!
When Solgaleo releases its vast amount of energy and enters its most powerful phase, it attains the Radiant Sun Phase. And when it does, it looks like this:
In this avatar, it opens its third eye. The third eye represents the power of the mind, or, psychic abilities. Also, it is an ode to the Eye of Ra, the sun’s protector who is often depicted as a lion in Egyptian mythology during travel through the underworld.
Moreover, one of the primary constellations in space is Leo, and Leo is a sun sign for many. The Psychic typing is often analogous to the mind and space.
Finally, the red Shiny colour of Solgaleo represents the red giant that the sun would turn into when it runs out of hydrogen within it. It can also be a result of Solgaleo being covered in blood from the bleeding sun as it devours it.
Thus, Solgaleo is Solgaleo. The type, the myth, the lore… you have it all!
Lunala appears to be simpler than Solgaleo. It’s a huge bat and bats fly in the night sky, drenched in moonlight. Right? Right?
Well, this isn’t wrong per se, but just like Solgaleo, Lunala’s lore also goes deep. Except, Solgaleo is more into alchemy while Lunala is into astrology. But hey, most alchemists in medieval times were also astrologists among other things. Seriously, people in these times mastered multiple disciples while our generation often struggles to master even one.
The inception of a bat being associated with astrology/alchemy goes way back to the 14th-century Book of Wonders, an Iranian manuscript that dealt with astrology, astronomy, and divination. It depicted the moon having bat wings and being held by a crab, the sign for Cancer in the Zodiac.
The moon’s face is feminine, as it has been done so throughout history. The sun, on the other hand, is masculine. This is reflected in Solgaleo being the male evolution of Cosmeom, and looking like a male Lion. Lunala has feminine features and is the female evolution of Cosmeom.
But in all this, why the Zodiac sign Cancer is important? That’s because Cancer is said to be ruled by… the moon. 🙂
In fact, astrology says that people with the Cancer Zodiac have strong feminine traits. more… godly.
Remember Solgaleo has the Egyptian reference to the Eye of Ra? Lunala doesn’t fall behind!
Because, Lunala takes inspiration from the Egyptian Goddess of the Sky, Nut.
This goddess is depicted as having all the stars of the sky in her body. Just like…
In fact, the goddess embraces the world to bring in the night, exactly what Lunala does. It is also worth noting that Goddess Nut was widely worshipped by ancient Egyptian alchemists.
Much like Solgaleo, Lunala also has a third eye and the power to move across dimensions making it a Psychic type:
But the third eye aspect is pretty interesting for Lunala as well since the Hawaiian demigod Maui had snatched the eyes of Pe’a-pe’a-makawalu, an eight-eyed bat.
Speaking of the bat aspect of Lunala, it wonderfully justifies its ghost typing as it’s based on multiple lores:
- The extinct Synemporion (ghost bat) from Hawaii, the region Alola is based on
- Itzpapalotl, a skeletal Aztec goddess with bladed bat wings
- Camazotz, a Mayan bat god associated with death
Once again, just like Solgaleo, the red Shiny of Lunala is a reference to the reddish colour of the moon during a total lunar eclipse.
The Duo of Solgaleo and Lunala
You saw me writing “just like Solgaleo” a lot when I described Lunala’s lore. So obviously, they are quite connected. Well, that’s because the sun and moon go hand-in-hand, just like day and night in different parts of the same planet.
For ancient alchemists, the sun and moon were both planets. In fact, they were the most important planets and, as such, they represented the most valuable metals: gold (sun) and silver (moon).
When they come together, it creates a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse is regarded as a new beginning or a new portal (both Solgaleo and Lunala can create portals to Ultra Space after all). In the event of a solar eclipse, the world is said to be purified and is graced with the power of God, or, the power of Aether (representation of all the elements combined to give clarity… or, a clear sky).
But wait…does that ring a bell?
Both the sun(gold, male) and the moon (silver, female) bring balance. While the sun is more powerful and valuable, it needs the moon to bring life to earth. Moreover, the sun is far away while the moon is closer and is more approachable. Together, they bring balance to us.
But riddle me this…
What’s the leverage to the sun and the moon, the light and the darkness? Something that can capture both and be a unification of the two powerful entities of life… something that can take aether into its control. A prism, perhaps?
Yikes! Let’s get to this when this monstrosity debuts in Pokémon GO.
For now, let’s celebrate the lore of Solgaleo and Lunala. Fun fact: Ho-Oh brings the sun’s power to the earth and Lugia brings the moon’s power to the oceans. Wait… Sun and Moon… Gold and Silver… Get it? Gen 2 games!
Solgaleo and Lunala are two of the most amazing legendaries that you should definitely have on your team. For now, the event would let you have only one for starters. I’m hopeful we can gain both in due course of time.
Which one did you find cooler and more fascinating? You should probably go with that!
A note on their meta relevance in Pokémon GO
Lunala is unfortunately handed an awkward PvP moveset that kind of hinders its glory. If Lunala gets Shadow Claw though, it would be bonkers!
Solgaleo is a nice pick in the Master League meta. Not ground breaking, but definitely worth it (it even beats Dialga!). That said, Solgaleo needs to be level 50 to be useful enough. That will be possible only when it becomes a raid boss.
Solgaleo is currently more useful than Lunala in PvP.
The tables turn in PvE…
Lunala has a respectable ATK stat of 255 and good bulk. With Confusion and Psychic, it can be a neat addition to your Psychic raid line-up. However, it is generally outclassed by other Pokémon.
Solgaleo has the same stats but lacks a good Psychic or Steel moveset to make an impact.
Lunala is currently more useful than Solgaleo in PvE.
All the best, trainers!
PS: Check out Wiki, Amino Apps, and Gnoggin for lore on Pokémon!