Pokémon can come in all shapes and sizes and have all sorts of odd features. This is because their creators draw inspiration from various sources, many of which become an integral part of their design. That said, there are some Pokémon whose design choices elude even diehard Pokémon fans.
The red star on Kababra’s forehead seems to be exclusive to this particular Pokémon. For whatever reason, neither its pre-evolution Abra nor its evolved form Alakazam have this marking (nor does Mega Alakazam for that matter). To get to the bottom of this mystery, it’s important to understand what the star represents and what reasons there could be to have it removed from the rest of this evolutionary line.
Why Does Kadabra Have a Star on Its Forehead?
Kadabra’s star pattern seems to be based on Zener cards. These small decks were used in all kinds of experiments to test for extrasensory perception and clairvoyance. Most experiments involved the examinee trying to guess what was on the cards and interact with them as instructed. These markings were apparently used on Kadabra to keep on theme with its psychic motif. They’re similar to its bending spoons in that regard.
Zener cards use a couple more symbols besides the star. They also use the wave pattern, which can be seen on Kadabra’s abdomen. There are also cards with a square, a circle, and a plus sign; none of these features are on any known version of Kadabra.
The placement of the star on Kadabra’s forehead could also be an allusion to the third eye, also called the mind’s eye or the inner eye. This concept is heavily featured in Hinduism and Buddhism and is commonly referenced in anime. Its placement on the forehead represents spiritual enlightenment attained through meditation and can lead to clairvoyance, precognition, and a higher state of consciousness.
As for why only Kadabra has these markings, that seems to be a basic matter of it being a middle evolution. Plenty of middle-stage evolutions have features that aren’t present in either their pre-evolved forms or their final evolutions. In the case of the first generation, this holds for things like Wartortle’s tail fur, Machoke’s lizardlike face, and Graveler’s second set of arms
Also, in fairness, Alakazam did have a star-like pattern on its forehead at one point. If one looks closely at Alakazam’s forehead in its original Pokémon Red and Green sprite, what looks like a reflective shine is actually shaped like a six-pointed star with a dot in the middle. It also has a red, oval-shaped jewel when it Mega Evolves into Mega Alakazam. Neither of these particular shapes is in the Zener cards, but they could be meant to reinforce the same potential third eye motif of Kadabra’s star.
Why Don’t Abra and Alakazam Have Stars on Their Foreheads Like Kadabra?
Meanwhile, Kadabra wouldn’t get the star on its forehead until Pokémon Yellow, nor would it have the wave pattern on its abdomen until Pokémon Blue. It did, however, have these features in the original artwork as well as the anime. Kadabra may have been given the star pattern later on while its forehead was originally meant to be left blank. If this is true, then Alakazam would be justified for not having any such pattern in its subsequent art.
As for Abra’s lack of a star, that can simply be attributed to its state as a pre-evolution. Plenty of early-stage Pokémon designs are made simpler with the intention of adding features as they evolve. If Abra’s lack of a star can be called a point of discontent, then so can its lack of a spoon or a mustache.
While it might have been nice to see the Zener markings on the rest of Kadabra’s line, there is something nice about it being the only one to have them. It helps to make the Pokémon world feel bigger and more diverse with all of its different species. Whatever happens to the star when it evolves, it can take pride in knowing it gets to hold onto this unique feature while it is still unevolved.
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