|"Alright kids, time to think deep."|
Hey folks, Roger here. I apologize to all of you out their awaiting another segment of Roger's List, but with school back in session [at least for all of you lucky ones still young enough to go to school that is], I figured it's only appropriate to jump start our minds with a little hard thinking. Don't worry, I'll be back to making good old fashioned lists soon enough, but today, we're going to be talking about a few of the most recent events of the current Dressarosa Arc of One Piece and how they relate to several characters from the past. So pull out your notebooks, grab your pens and get ready. This is One Piece Theory 101: The Ace/Law Conversion
We begin the Ace/Law Conversion Theory with a single vital question that has lingered over the world of One Piece since the conclusion of the Marineford War: Why? Why did Trafalgar Law enter the ending stage of the war just to save Luffy's life?
What was his motive behind his actions that day? Why was this boy, whom until a few days ago he never met, and whom also happens to be one of his greatest rivals for the very treasure he seeks for himself, suddenly worth risking his life and the life and his entire crew to save?
I have asked this question to several of my colleagues in the past, and so far the only guess they have been able to give me is this: Law saw Luffy as a potential weapon that he could use in the future, and if he saved his life, Luffy would be indebted to him and return the favor. There is some evidence to back this hypothesis. Obviously, when the two of them met at Punk Hazard, Law was the one to bring up the prospect of an alliance between their two crews, in which Luffy willingly jumped on board. Law clearly had a very thought out plan of what he wanted to accomplish at Punk Hazard and Dressarosa that he quite easily convinced the Straw Hats to go along with (whether or not his plans panned out the way he expected is another matter).
However, here are some of the reasons why I believe this hypothesis doesn't work. For starters, Law was taking a huge gamble coming to the Marineford War in the first place. At one point during their escape, his entire crew was a second away from having their submarine zapped to smithereens by Kizaru and all of them would be dead. Ask yourself, was one potential ally really worth such a fools errand? Obviously, it did workout for him in the end, but back then, did Luffy really seem worth it? This was the moron who punched out a Celestial Dragon, an act that sent an Admiral and a Warlord to Saobody, causing massive amounts of trouble for every single Rookie pirate crew on the island. Then we find that he's charged head first into a war where he is miles out of his league. Any sane person would think this kid had a death wish. To say that Law foresaw that Luffy and his entire crew would disappear for the next two years then resurface as this unstoppable force and conveniently show up at Punk Hazard right when he needed them to, well that means he would have had to pull some serious Light Yagami "I can predict the future" crap out of his ass, and I'm not ready to believe that.
Another hole in this theory comes from Law's actions in the most recent events in the Dressarosa Arc. When Law was cornered by Donquixote Doflamingo and Admiral Fugitora, all he had to do to save himself and keep his status as Warlord was admit that Luffy and the Strawhats were his subordinates working under him. If he really was only using Luffy as a means to an end, this should have been a no brainer. He wouldn't have even had to lie.
But instead, what does he say?
Law remained loyal to his pact to work with Luffy as equals in the face some of the most powerful forces in the world. A statement this bold strongly suggests that Law regards Luffy as far more than just another pawn in his game.
When Luffy confronted Law himself to thank him for saving his life, Law claimed that he did it out of a whim. Judging by what I've seen, I'm starting to believe that may be true. Even when they met at Punk Hazard, Law did not bring up the prospect of the alliance at their first meeting. It was only after they worked together to defeat the Yeti Cool Brothers did he finally bring up that proposal, giving the impression this is something he thought about over the course of the few hours that Luffy was there.
What this means is that Law did not enter the Marineford War with the intent on saving Luffy's life. Originally, we went there for something else entirely. What you may ask? Well, what was the intent of every other pirate crew on that island? Obviously, to rescue Ace. Did Law have any reason to want to save Ace? There is currently no on-screen prof that these two characters had ever seen or spoken to one another. That said, is there any trait or quality that these two have in common? Anything at all that would suggest Fire Fist and the Surgeon of Death had a potential connection.
As a matter of fact... there is.
|Read it and weep.|
|Now that's what I call a... Game of Thrones. Amiright!|
That's right. The four thrones in Doflamingo's Lair are in the shapes of a Club, Heart, Diamond, and Spade respectively. It's interesting to note that Doflamingo himself is known by the allias "Joker," which is also a name of a playing card. Siting in the Club throne is that greasy guy with some kind of slime type power named Trevor (or is it Trebol? I'm still getting my b/v's and r/l's mixed up). The Heart throne is empty, yet it's been made clear now that Law was in fact a former subordinate of Joker, and seeing as his crew was the Heart Pirates, it's safe to assume that the Heart throne use to be where he initially sat, but is now vacant following his recent betrayal. In the Diamond throne is Diamante, the current champion of the Corrida Coliseum, and the man Joker entrusted with safeguarding the Flame Flame Devil Fruit.
In the Spade throne is someone large in full body armor we have yet to hear a name for, or even get a clear image of. If my theory is correct though, once upon a time, Fire Fist Ace, when he was known as the Captain of the Spade Pirates, may have sat in the Spade throne himself at some point. Maybe even at the same time Law was still involved in the Doflamingo family himself.
This would explain a lot actually.
For starters, many of the flashbacks to Ace's early days as captain of the Spade Pirates imply that he acquired his Flame Flame abilities sometime in his first year out at sea. It would be very unlikely for a rookie like Ace to just stumble upon a Devil Fruit that powerful out of the blue all on his own. Most if not all of the Devil Fruits we have seen on the show seem to be acquired from powerful sources. Luffy accidentally ate the Gum Gum fruit because he took it from the Red Hair Pirates. Buggy stole the Chop Chop fruit while he was a subordinate on Ro--eghem, my crew. The Devil Fruits granted to each member of CP9 all seem to have been given to them by higher ups in the World Government to make them more sufficient at their job. There have been a few off screen instances where people just get lucky, but more often than not, finding devil fruits requires either a lot of experience, or a lot of money.
So, suppose at some point in his first year as a pirate, Ace was found by a member of the Doflamingo family. They recognized his potential as a fighter (possibly even knew his true parentage). So they offered him to join their organization. He quickly rose up the ranks at which point he was granted the Flame Flame fruit so that he could be powerful enough to take on even the strongest of Joker's enemies. This would make a lot more sense than Ace just finding it randomly, and if Joker was aware of the Flame Flame fruits place of origin (or at least knew where he originally purchased it), than it also makes sense that he would be the first one to acquire it upon Ace's death and the fruit resurfaced to the world.
One more thing. Anyone else noticed how disrespectfully Joker has joked about Ace's death, and in front of Luffy no less? At this point, just bringing up Ace at all seems taboo among all the Strawhats (Since their reunion, none of them have mentioned Ace once yet). Even Law has thus far kept quiet on the subject. While it is true that Joker intentionally wants to get a rise out of Luffy so that he can bait him, what if he is also unleashing his own personal aggression towards Ace as well.
If Ace really was one of Joker's top subordinates, and Joker was the one that gave him his Flame Flame powers, than of course he'd be extremely cross when he discovers his star pupil flat out betrayed him to become the Second Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates. Joker runs his crew like a Mafia: If you betray the family, you're dead, and everyone who tries to protect you is also dead. Only one problem. This is Whitebeard we're talking about. As powerful as Joker and his crew may be, the odds of them surviving a full on scuffle against the Whitebeard Pirates all on their own just to get revenge on Ace, doubtful. As Buggy taught us a long time ago "DON'T mess with the Whitebeard Pirates!"
Joker knew this, so for the longest time, Ace was pretty much untouchable for him. A few years pass, then along comes Blackbeard and the World Government to capture Ace and conveniently do Joker's job for him. So of course he'd be overjoyed that the traitor is now dead, the crew he ran to was decimated, and the powers of the Flame Flame fruit were back in his possession. If all worked out perfectly for him.
Two years pass, and what do you know? Now Law is the one attempting to betray Joker. Not only that, but he's made an alliance with the brother of his former traitor. Insubordination such as this is not going to be tolerated.
For those of you who lost me somewhere back there, here's the theory summed up as quickly as I can: Ace and Law were both top ranking subordinates of the Doflamingo family around the same time, and were therefore acquaintances. Whether they were rivals, friends, allies of convenience or whatever, they developed some kind of bond in the short time they were on Joker's crew. The bond was strong enough that Law entered the Marineford War save Ace himself. He arrived too late, however since he was already there and noticed that everyone was now trying to protect Luffy, he figured, "Screw it. I'm a doctor. I might as well save him." Two years later, Law runs into Luffy again at Punk Hazard, and brought up the idea of an alliance. Since he worked with his brother in the past, both of them have common enemies, and they keep running into each-other anyway, it just felt right. Meanwhile, Joker feel's Ace betrayed him and stole the powers of the Flame Flame fruit from him for several years, and now that Ace is no longer around to get his revenge, he's going to take it out on his brother.
And that's the Ace/Law Conversion Theory for you all. Now keep in mind everyone, this is strictly a theory, not fact. It is an attempt by me to take various seemingly unconnected plot element of past and current arcs of One Piece, and see how they can come together to give us a big picture. It is very likely that none of these theoretical connections are true.
Perhaps Ace and Law really never have met. Perhaps Ace was never affiliated with the Doflamingo family and the Spade similarity between his original crew and one of Joker's thrones was just a coincidence. Maybe my son really was the luckiest bastard in the world and stumbled upon one of the most powerful Devil Fruits in the world all on his own in his first year as a pirate.
Maybe Law really was impressed so much by his first impression of Luffy back a Saobody that he genuinely thought it was worth it to risk the life of his entire crew to save him. And maybe Joker didn't know Ace at all and could really care less about him, and is being disrespectful about his death just because he's a dick.
Yup, it's perfectly possible that all that is true too. Though, if I'm being honest with myself, that seems like just a lot of plot conveniences piled onto one another. If it were a lesser writer, I wouldn't put it pass them, but Oda has shown in the past how he likes to make big overlapping story connections between his characters for past and current arcs. Remember how well he melded Brook's backstory all the way in the Thriller Bark arc to the Strawhat's very first adventure on the Grand Line? That was brilliant. I would not put it past Oda to throw another story curve like that one to help connect several of these loose ends into a much bigger an meaningful story.
Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. Maybe only part of my theory is correct, and there is some element to the puzzle I have missed. Either way, only time will tell.