In response to the Skypiea summary episode that was recently released in the anime, there is something odd I observed about the winged people, a.k.a. the Winged Race.
So I thought I should bring the following to your attention. But first, let’s give a brief overview of the history of Skypiea in the state in which it was presented to us in the story.
-The History of Skypiea & Shandia
The original part of Skypiea is called Angel Island. It’s where the Skypieans live.
More than 400 years ago, there was an island in the Grand Line called Jaya. It had the shape of a skull. Montblanc Noland visited that island, and there he met with the Shandians and their ruler, Calgara. He also had the chance to witness the City of Gold, along with the giant Golden Belfry Bell. Noland cured the people there from a deadly disease and developed a strong relationship with Calgara, to whom he promised he would come back again for a visit.
All that was before the City of Gold, Shandora, was was knocked up in the sky by the famous Knock-Up Stream along with the Shandians. This was the reason why Noland was executed for being a Liar (thereby breaking the promise with Calgara), because the City of Gold which he had found in Jaya, was no longer there. In the meantime, Calgara himself could not find the Golden Bell in order to call Noland because it was knocked further up the sky, where it remained until Luffy rang it after 400 years. The Skypiea Arc is happening at a time when Shandia (also called Upper Yard) had already been separated from the rest of Jaya for 400 years.
-The Presence of the Wing trait: When and Where
This is where the puzzle begins.
We know that the Winged Race, i.e. the Birkans, the Skypieans, and the Shandians, originate from the Moon. Once the resources there became scarce, Birkans, Skypieans, and Shandians all migrated to the Blue Star, i.e. the One Piece Earth. The first two migrated to Sky Islands while Shandians migrated to Jaya. According to Robin, that happened around 1100 years ago (chapter 261). Therefore, I believe it is safe to assume that at that time, the whole of Jaya was populated by Shandians, because if it was also populated by normal humans, they would have already discovered the City of Gold and made it known to the rest of the world. Now, if this is true, it would make sense nowadays for the rest of the Jaya population not to have wings, because their DNA would probably have been intermixed with that of normal humans (since at least 900 ago, when the Twenty Kingdoms came in contact with Jaya), and the winged trait would have faded already. In any case however, this does not negate the following:
At the moment when Shandia landed alongside Skypiea, the Sky People were too presented as having wings. So it is also safe to assume that Skypiea was also independently populated by the Winged Race at the same time.
But why did the people from the Winged Race inhabit both Jaya and the sky island right above it? Why and how did this state of affairs come to be?
We know that as soon as Shandia landed next to Skypiea, the Skypieans rushed over to dominate this new land. This is because they worshipped the soil that came with it. But what if there’s more to it than that?
-The Nature of the Knock-Up Stream
Before I proceed any further, I want to make a note on the explanation we have been given concerning the occurrence of the knock-up stream. According to One Piece Wiki:
“The Knock Up Stream is a powerful pressurized water stream that shoots upwards to the sky from the bottom. The Knock Up Stream is created by a giant underwater cave filled with gas. At some point in time, the gas pressure is too big and creates a crack in the ceiling, then a giant whirlpool is created from the crack. Once most of the gas gets free, the seabed explodes, sending a giant stream upwards.”
Now, bare that in mind.
-Theory: The History of the Shandians
So my theory goes like this:
The Shandians migrated to Jaya about 1100 years ago, i.e. before the Void Century. Some time during the war between the Ancient Kingdom and the World Govenment, the ancient weapon Pluton was used (for a reason we do not yet know), destroying several islands in its path. One of those islands was Jaya, where the Shandians resided. Part of Jaya was knocked up in the sky by Pluton, in a failed attempt by the Ancient Kingdom to hide Shandora from the World Government (Shandora was ruined by the 20 Kingdoms during the Void Century – chapter 272), creating Skypiea as we now know it. What is more, this event left a huge hole on the sea bottom, which is now basically the giant underwater cave that makes the knock-up stream possible (note that the knock-up stream could not have been originally created by the knock-up of Shandora because it was that same stream that knocked up Shandora in the first place). This assumption could also explain other holes in the One Piece Sea, such as the one below Enies Lobby.
From that point onward, the Shandians were split in two and most of the knowledge about their origin was lost due to the Void Century; some of it was written on the Poneglyphs. This left the following generations of the Shandians in Skypiea and the Shandians in Jaya with no knowledge of their origins. This is also supported by what Robin said all the way back in chapter 272 – that “all the books in the city were burned, its entire history was lost!”, and that “the Golden City, Shandora, was destroyed after fighting to protect the poneglyphs”. Thus, many generations in Skypiea were raised up believing that they were true Skypieans, given that Skypieans commonly inhabit sky islands. Up until 400 years ago, where the Skypieans met with the Shandians. Devastated as they were, the Shandians were easily dominated by the “Skypieans”.
So maybe a need for sovereignty and integrity by the “Skypieans” could justify their hostility towards Shandians, but at least concerning the Winged Race of Jaya, it was actually Shandians who dominated over their own people.
-Tenguyama Hitetsu (O-Tama’s Master, Chapter 911)
Notice that Hitetsu is another human with wings. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more people from the Winged Race in Wano. My theory is that a group of people from the part of Jaya that remained on the sea surface 900 to 800 years ago migrated to Wano in order to let the Kozuki clan know of what really happened concerning the Winged Race during the Void Century, in order for them to carve the facts on the poneglyphs.
– Im-sama: The Five Elders spoke with Im-sama about a light that needs to be extinguished from history. The Golden Belfry Bell was also referred to as “the Light of Shandora”, which was extinguised by the World Government during the Void Century. Could the Five Elders now be making a reference of a similar scale?
– Ussop: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both Hitetsu and Montblanc Noland were compared to Ussop. Ussop found a liking in Noland because of his reputation for being a liar, while Hitetsu was mistaken for Ussop because of his long nose. Imagine if Ussop ends up being connected to critical events of the Void Century!
– Enel: I didn’t think Enel was important enough to include in this story, because he arrived to Skypiea only 8 years before the Skypiea Arc. The only thing he did was to exploit Shandora’s gold and manipulate it in order to build his Ark Maxim, which he later used to travel back to the Moon. He did not have any obvious mingling to the events discussed above.
*Theory by Bishop D. George