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Who Is Mewtwo? Detective Pikachu's Legendary Pokémon Explained

Mewtwo Pokemon Movies

Here's everything you need to know about Mewtwo in the Pokémon games and Detective Pikachu movie. There's something bizarre about the Pokémon universe. Sure, there are actually many things that could be considered bizarre about the mythos surrounding the world Pokémon, but the lack of any real origin stories for the original 151 creatures that debuted in the Kanto region is the real kicker. While the likes of Pikachu and Charizard are happy to simply exist – the latter of which can be explained as a final evolution of Charmander – Mewtwo is the only creature with a legitimate history behind it.

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Given Mewtwo's prominent role in the Detective Pikachu movie, many may be wondering what the story behind the powerhouse Pokémon is. Truthfully, the background of the character comes across as tragic in many respects. How so? Well, the canonical strongest Pokémon ever created began life as the genetic replication of the mythical creature Mew, which in turn granted it great power without any real concept of what it means to belong–it is the only one of its kind, after all.

Related: Detective Pikachu: Every Pokémon Confirmed For Live-Action (So Far)

But how did this come to be and what does Mewtwo want? To answer that, we need to go back through Pokémon's game, TV and, now, movie history!

Mewtwo's Origins & Powers

Mewtwo in Pokemon The First Movie

Mewtwo first began life in a test tube prior to the events of the original games Pokémon Red Version, Pokemon Blue Version, and the Japan-only Pokémon Green Version for the original Nintendo Game Boy. As previously touched upon, Mewtwo is the clone of the mythical Mew, but the capabilities of the creature have been enhanced in order to be put to use by Team Rocket with villainous intent. Granted with god-like telekinetic powers, Mewtwo is capable of mass destruction through the power of its mind and nothing else.

Despite the Psychic-type Pokémon having been created by Team Rocket for their own personal gain, Mewtwo quickly gains sentience upon his completion and escapes the lab that created him – and in the anime, he even kills the scientists that brought him to life. After escaping and feeling as if it doesn't belong anywhere, Mewtwo hides itself away in Cerulean Cave in the hopes of living out its life in solitude. Evidently, that doesn't work out, as Mewtwo is eventually challenged by the protagonist of Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, aptly named Red, and serves as a final boss of sorts for players.

Mewtwo In The Core Pokemon Games

In the games, Mewtwo has played several noteworthy roles, although none have been fleshed out as much as the character in the original Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version titles. Canonically, ownership of the Pokémon changes a lot, as the trainer Red has captured it (best done using the game's only Master Ball, but still possible with others) and it still appears in other titles further on as an obtainable Pocket Monster.

Related: Why Sonic's Live-Action Design Looks Worse Than Detective Pikachu's Pokémon

In all, Mewtwo has appeared as a beast that can be captured within the base game for Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow for Game Boy, the remakes Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green for Game Boy Advance, Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver for Nintendo DS, Pokémon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS, and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. Mewtwo is no stranger to fighting games either, as the creature has appeared in both Pokken Tournament games and three Super Smash Bros. titles.

Mewtwo's Mega Evolutions

Mega Evolutions were first introduced in Pokémon X and Y, where a number of creatures received temporary forms that they could utilize in battle. The gimmick made for some memorable transformations, and while many Pokémon were given Megas, Mewtwo is one of only two Pokémon that received two different forms. Depending on which version of the aforementioned games fans purchased, players can Mega Evolve the legendary Pokémon into either Mega Mewtwo X or Mega Mewtwo Y - both of which are fittingly named. Mega Mewtwo X even has the highest attack stat in any Pokemon game, which stays true to the raw power of the pocket monster.

Mewtwo may have another form soon too if rumors about Armored Evolutions in Pokémon Sword and Shield end up being true. Only time will tell on that front, but the fact that the beast has so many forms is a strong indication of how important the Pokémon is to Nintendo.

Mewtwo In The Pokémon Anime

Mewtwo Anime

Mewtwo has been the focus of four animated Pokémon movies: Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (the only one to receive a theatrical release in the US); the impending 3D remake of that film called Mewtwo the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution; the straight-to-DVD sequel Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns; and a second, entirely different Mewtwo debuted in Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened. The anime is the only place where multiple Mewtwo canonically exist within the world of Pokémon, and was likely only added so that Mega Mewtwo Y could be shown off as part of a promotional tie-in for Pokémon X and Y. This second Mewtwo, unlike the one present in the other films, communicates telepathically with a female voice - ensuring that fans can tell the difference between the pair.

Related: Detective Pikachu Is What Fantastic Beasts Should Have Been

The important story comes in Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, where the legendary mon comes to believe that humans are the source of evil in the world. Mewtwo feels as if it was created as nothing more than a means to an end, which causes it to revolt and begin its plan to create a world where these genetic tools (read: clones) have a greater purpose than just appeasing their masters. During the course of this film, however, Mewtwo learns of the bonds these creatures share and the depth of humanity as a whole. Nothing is so black in white in the world. Ash Ketchum's willingness to sacrifice his own life to protect his friend Pikachu in a pivotal scene of the film, in particular, opens Mewtwo's eyes to the kindness and love all living beings can show each other. Upon this epiphany, Mewtwo stops battling and wipes the memories of everyone that he wronged; opting to retreat with the clones he created to find their own place in life.

In the anime, Mewtwo (in its body armor from The First Movie) appears in two further episodes of the core show, "The Battle of the Badge" and "Showdown at the Po-ké Corral". It is better fleshed out in its appearance in the animated miniseries Pokemon Origins, where Mewtwo is shown as an immensely powerful Pokemon that put the trainer Blue in the hospital before Red eventually captured it with the help of his Mega Charizard X.

Mewtwo In Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Mewtwo is now set to appear in the first Pokémon live-action film, Detective Pikachu. Presently, its role has been shrouded in mystery. If this version of the creature is anything like one featured in the Detective Pikachu 3DS game, though, then Mewtwo will likely be just another creature caught up in the ploy of another villainous individual, rather than the villain of the anime. The trailers make it seems as if the legendary Pokemon will be pursuing the protagonists of the film as they travel through Ryme City, but it's worth remembering that Mewtwo itself isn't an evil creature, rather an extraordinarily powerful one just many try to harvest for their own selfish reasons.

Ultimately, Mewtwo wants to be left alone. Of course, that nature may not fit the narrative of Detective Pikachu, but fans won't be left in the dark wondering about the creature's role in the film for too long.

More: Detective Pikachu May Launch A Pokemon Cinematic Universe

Key Release Dates
  • Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019
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