Chapter 923 was amazing. I sat in my chair and tried to figure out how Oda wants to manage the huge power gap between Luffy and Kaidou.
My guess is, that Luffy will be imprisoned and the Straw Hats with all their forces and allies have to get him out.
This will lead to a great war with more than two Yonkos and many other fractions.
But why am I thinking this? Here are the hints we got.
Oda said in an interview, that Marineford will look like a childs birthday party compared to Wano. I think it’s safe to say, that because of this, we can expect a huge war. But this is nothing new and expected by many readers.
What really got me thinking is the fact, that the arcs of the New World are somehow similar to the arcs from the first half of the Grand Line:
Fishman Island – Arlong Park
Dressrosa/Punk Hazard- Arabasta/Islands pre Arabasta
Zou- Water Seven
Totland- Enies Lobby
That’s why I’m thinking, that we not only get a war more badass than Marineford but I’m also quite sure, that Luffy will take Ace’s Position as a prisoner.
Furthermore we definitely need more than two Yonkos, the Straw Hat Alliance, a few Minks and Whitebeard Pirates leftovers for a war that has to top Marineford.
He always got more and more power by planning, taking on opportunities and plotting. I think he already got a plan on how he’ll become Pirate King. And I figure, that he is planning to challange the Yonkos and get the Road Poneglyphs, which he really needs in order to proceed. He sure got the news about Luffy and Big Mom too and is now really seeing Luffy as a challanger that needs to be eliminated (At the beginning he only wanted to get him for Warlord status). I also think he is clever enough to use Laffitte’s powers to hypnotize a high official of the Marines to gain informations. We already saw it happen at Impel Down.
So he knows that Big Mom and Kaidou are going to gather. This and a few other informations (I really think that he has his informants all over the New World) are enough to figure out what’s going on. And this is an opportunity he can’t miss. Proceed further in the chaos. Maybe catch Marco’s or some other’s Devil Fruit. Stabbing a Yonko from behind when they are distracted. Copy a Road Poneglyph. There is just too much to gain for him to not be there.
I see a small possibility for Shanks to be there too. If he gets the news on what is probably going to happen at Wano, I see a small chance for him to join the fight. He would’t see Luffy before to keep his promise. But the promise, that Luffy has to become a great pirate before they are meeting again, is already fullfilled, as Shanks said himself reading the news about the “Fifth Yonkou”. As he knows Kaido’s strength, he also knows, that he has to help Luffy fullfill his “destiny”. That now is the time he has to start unbalancing the world. A balance he always tried keeping (warning Whitebeard about Blackbeard, stopping Kaido from joining the Battle of Marineford, ending the Battle of Marineford, talking to the Gorosei about a certain pirate), to help Luffy proceed- for the only reason to destroy it when the time comes.
A vital part of this theory is what Mihawk said at Marineford
Also I want to mention, that it’s stated, that on land, air and sea Kaido is the strongest creature. If it’s a 1 on 1, he will win. I don’t think it’s possible for Luffy to defeat Kaido 1 on 1. Some people think because of this statement, Luffy has to defeat him 1 on 1 in order to become Pirate King but I honestly think that even the Power Rookies’ forces combined can’t match Kaido.
I think it only backs up my theory, that Luffy has to defeat Kaido with his most terrifying power. His power to make allies.
1) This war probably takes place in two weeks “One Piece Time” at the fire festival. There needs to be some time for arrival of some participants.
2) Participants could be: All four Yonkos, the Straw Hat Alliance, Whitebeard Pirates leftovers. Probably the Strawhat Grand Fleet. Some Power Rookies. Marines maybe, but unlikely. Maybe they fear an unbalancing in the world or even Yonkos team up and going against the World Goverment. And if this really is the pre Raftel Arc, i can imagine characters like Boa Hancock and the Kujas, Rayleigh and so on. I know that most of them probably aren’t there. This part is more speculation than theory.
3) This arc is one of the last arcs. Maybe even the pre Raftel/Revolution Arc. With all four Yonkos taking part of it, there are so much possibilities of things to happen. I guess you can imagine that yourself. I would hate it, but it would be awesome storytelling, if the both pirates, Ace and Shanks, who inspired Luffy to become a pirate- the only two persons he really looks up to- die at the two greatest wars in order to save him. Ace in Marineford. Shanks in Wano.
*Theory by Linc