One Piece Twilight of the Moon Gods - The Lunarian Analysis

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Hello, everyone!

A couple of months ago, chapter 1023 provided us with a fascinating update to one of my favorite topics: King's race! Even better, the fan translation of the chapter carrying this update came out on Monet's birthday, then officially on my birthday! What a glorious weekend it was for me!

I've talked about this subject at length in the past, specifically in my Grand Monet Theory and its offshoot, the Missing Race Theory, so I'm quite excited to share with all of you what's been confirmed, been debunked, or can be inferred based on the new information available.

Background Information

To begin, in ch.1022, Marco mentions to King that he once heard about a race that once lived atop the Red Line with the ability to ignite their bodies, clearly drawing a connection between said race and King's previously unnamed race that was established to be missing from Big Mom's kingdom of Totto Land in ch.951.

Then, in ch.1023, Queen questions how Sanji is able to ignite his leg if he supposedly doesn't have the same augmentations that his siblings do, as the only other logical explanation would be that he's a Lunarian, which he clearly isn't.

As this statement catches King's attention and Lunarians are ostensibly the only race naturally capable of igniting their bodies, we can safely conclude that King's self-igniting race and the Lunarians are one and the same.

After establishing that King is in fact a Lunarian, the first thing that should jump out about this race is their name: with the root word "lunar," it's immediately clear that this race is in some way related to the moon. What's more, the word "Lunarian" has been used in fiction to refer specifically to the denizens of the moon, implying that the Lunarians of the One Piece world may have originated from or migrated to the moon

Because King is our only confirmed example, we can't guarantee that the Lunarians are all winged, but given the fact that they once lived atop the Red Line, it would make sense for them to have wings, as that would allow them to easily travel between the Red Line and the Blue Sea. Furthermore, it would seem strange to me for Oda to give King functional wings and establish that he is a member of a unique race without connecting those two facts. This could also explain why their name implies that they come from the moon; we've seen both from Enel's Maxim (ch.300) and the Automata's balloons (ch.453) that powered flight and flotation are both sufficient for traveling to and from the moon, so a race with functional wings could easily be seen making that trip provided they have the stamina for it.

Their ability to fly could also explain why they seem to have once been considered gods, as evidenced by Whitebeard's conversation with Marco about a Land of Gods distinct from Mary Geoise that used to be atop the Red Line.

Humanoids flying down from a nigh unclimbable mountain, even disappearing into the sky towards the moon, while also being able to conjure flame certainly fit the bill for godly figures to ancient peoples, so it would only make sense for their home to be considered the Land of Gods. It is possible that they weren't necessarily seen as gods themselves, though, and possibly as the angels to another group that was considered gods, but for now we'll assume the former.

To summarize, we know the following facts about the Lunarians so far:
  1. They are winged, flying beings
  2. They are associated with the moon
  3. They can ignite their bodies
  4. They used to live atop the Red Line
  5. They were once viewed as, or at least associated with, gods
  6. They are nearly extinct, with King being the only confirmed extant member
These six facts will serve as the basis for all of the other connections and conclusions we draw, and trust me, this is quite the tangled web.

Quite...the web...

In order to untangle it, we're going to go over the connections categorically, then in the end arrange them all into one coherent narrative.

Since it flows the most naturally into all of the other ideas we'll be discussing today, let's start with the simplest connecting thread: the Lunarian's status as gods.

Lands of the Gods

Presumably, the Lunarians came to be seen as gods because of their ability to fly, which they used to travel freely across the oceanic world and ascend to the top of what was at the time an unclimbable mountain, and their ability to summon flames at will, a power that likely seemed to be a miracle in ancient times. Because they nested atop the Red Line, this summit came to be known as the Land of Gods.

Interestingly, though, the Red Line is not the only place to have been referred to in such a way: so has the moon.

To paraphrase Enel's speech in ch.274, "I want to return to the land of Endless Earth where God is said to reside."

We know that he was talking about the moon, but from the perspective of someone not of the White Sea, there's only one place in the Blue Sea that fits the description of Endless Earth: the Red Line, a supercontinent that perfectly encircles the planet. This brings up an interesting question: were the Lunarians only ever from the Red Line and were mistaken to have been from the moon because the Sky People couldn't have known about the Red Line, or did they actually live in both places at different points?

Personally, I'm inclined to think the latter. The name "Lunarian" seems to have come from the Blue Sea, implying that the Blue Sea people also came to be under the impression that the Lunarians came from the moon. Therefore, I posit the following:

I believe that the Lunarians evolved on Earth, same as the humans, Fishmen, Minks, etc., but using their power of flight, they were capable of reaching the moon. This, along with their powers of flame, led to them being revered as gods and were mistaken to have come from the moon by humans. One particular group of humans formed an actual religion around the Lunarians, going so far as to wear ornamental wings much as real-world religious people wear the Cross, Star of David, or other symbols of their faith. This group became the Sky People, who were likely brought to the Endless Earth by their gods as a reward for their faith, liberating them from the infinite oceans of the Blue Sea. Why they didn't bring them to the Red Line, I can't say, perhaps they offered it and were rejected because of the Sky People's belief that the moon was somehow better. Of course, eventually, the Sky People returned to Earth due to a lack of resources, only for the Skypieans and Birkans to end up in the White Sea where they didn't have access to Vearth to grow plants, so jokes on them, I suppose.

As a quick aside, I think it's very interesting that the half of Jaya that came to be known as Upper Yard, as that name could also easily describe both the Red Line for its height and the moon for its position above all else in the sky. One has to wonder if perhaps the name was a holdover from another time? Their worship of earth could also be seen as coming from their time below the clouds, as land is certainly a precious commodity in a world that is almost entirely water.

Aside from the wings they wear, the Sky People's current beliefs may also have been inspired by their ancient faith. The Skypieans revere their political leaders as gods, and the Shandians took to revering Kashigami, a snake that was seen as the god of rain, forest, earth, and sun (ch.287). Interestingly, this isn't the only time that we've heard about a sun god. Nika, the ancient sun god that represents freedom and laughter, was introduced to us in ch.1018. Though he was only shown in silhouette, his design appears to be wearing a grass skirt reminiscent of the Shandian style of dress.

How Nika is related to the Lunarians isn't clear yet, but given that he is associated with the sun and the Lunarians are associated with the moon, it isn't hard to imagine that there is some kind of link between them. Perhaps as the moon reflects the light of the sun, Nika somehow taught or granted the Lunarians the ability to conjure fire? Or perhaps as I suggested earlier, Nika was the god living in the Land of Gods with the Lunarians acting as his angels?

We likely won't know any of these details for quite some time, but we do know one thing for certain right now: the Lunarians haven't been seen as gods for several centuries. In other words, they are gods from ancient times. This brings to mind the Ancient Weapons, which have been stated to be named after ancient gods (ch.650), potentially implying that the gods they were named after were in fact key members of the Lunarian race. Granted, we already know that Poseidon was the name of a mermaid (ch.649), so perhaps it's more likely that the three weapons were each named for a representative from each race. As the God of the Sky, Uranus was undoubtedly a Lunarian. This leaves Pluton, an alternate name for Hades that denotes his role as God of the Land, who was likely a human, possibly from the Great Kingdom or from Water 7, as we'll discuss more in-depth later. If this is the case, these three likely came together to make the Ancient Weapons to represent the alliance of land, sea and sky.

This would play well into the theory that the Ancient Weapons are not actually weapons at all, but tools that simply can be used as weapons in the wrong hands. For example, as Otohime says in ch.626, Poseidon can just as easily be used for evil, such as having the Sea Kings attack a target, or for good, such as taming them to make the Calm Belts safer to navigate. Along the same token, Pluton is stated to be capable of destroying an island (ch.193), but many fans believe Pluton to actually be something of a terraforming tool that can be used to both build or destroy islands, possibly being the tool that was used to shape the world as it currently is in the first place.

In his video on the end of One Piece, Mr. Morj suggests that the Ancient Weapons will be used to create the All Blue, which he believes to be an alternate name for the One Piece itself. He suggests that Pluton will be used to destroy Reverse Mountain and Mary Geois while Poseidon will be used to clear the Calm Belts, but he neglects to speculate on Uranus' abilities. If Poseidon is a tool that can shape the seas and Pluton a tool that can shape the land, then logistically Uranus must be a tool that can shape the sky. Personally, I interpret this to mean a weather control device, likely capable of normalizing the erratic weather conditions of the Grand Line, which may in turn normalize the magnetic fields that necessitate a Log Pose. This is the final piece necessary to making the One Piece world truly free, and that may well be the key to understanding the creation of the Ancient Weapons: they weren't made to destroy the world, they were made to change it for the better. Naturally, the Celestial Dragons would reinterpret "ending the world as we know it" to "ending the world" for the sake of propaganda.

More important than why they were considered gods or what they did while in power, though, is what happened to strip them of their status. Given that the Lunarians are near extinct and definitely don't reside on the Red Line anymore, it really doesn't take much imagination to hazard a guess.

At some point in the distant past, almost definitely during the Void Century just before Mary Geoise was founded, the Twenty Kings decided to migrate to the top of the Red Line, necessitating that the current residents, the Lunarians, be killed. This event may have ironically repeated itself between two factions of the Lunarian followers' descendants when the Skypiean God Ubau invaded the land of the Shandians after half of Jaya was launched into the sky (ch.292).

Learning that others already lived on the miraculous plot of Vearth, Ubau's immediate decision was the remove the current, winged inhabitants, justifying his decree as his divine right. A clear metaphor for the colonization of North America in our world, but also foreshadowing that this was not the only time we would see such a thing in the history of the One Piece world, as the Celestial Dragons, or Gods of This World, have always been shown to be the types to take what they want when they want it, everyone else be damned.

Just as Ubau's desire for the Vearth was at least partially motivated by the desire to control the Vearth's resources, I don't think that the Celestial Dragons' reasons for seizing the Red Line were quite so petty as they just wanted the real estate. The Lunarians were considered gods, and the Celestial Dragons either believed themselves to be gods or wanted to become gods, so taking down the Lunarians and usurping their land seems like the most direct way to do that. Furthermore, as I alluded to earlier, a flying race that can travel freely across the world and link disparate cultures together is naturally a threat to a governing body that relies on segregation and lack of information.

The Land of Gods being atop a mountain also brings to mind the Olympians, the gods of Greek Mythology found atop Mount Olympus. Similar to the Celestial Dragons, the Olympians did not start out as the ruling gods, but rather took the title by overthrowing the previous gods, the Titans, in a battle known as the Titanomachy (War of the Titans).

If the Lunarians can be equated to the Titans, then there's one particular Titan that I think warrants mentioning: Prometheus, the God of Fire. Prometheus is best known for stealing fire from the gods to give to humanity, as referenced by Big Mom's fireball Homie of the same name. Because the other Greek Gods have parallels within the One Piece world, we can assume that a similar legend also exists for Big Mom to have taken inspiration from. As bringing fire to humanity is a symbol for humanity's attainment of forbidden knowledge, we can extrapolate that to the fiery Lunarians that were wiped from public knowledge by the Celestial Dragons: they gave humanity access to something that the Celestial Dragons didn't want them to have. Rather than literal fire, this may have been the freedom of travel and commerce that the Lunarians' flying ability provided as I mentioned before, the Ancient Weapons which could reshape the world (my personal choice), or perhaps even the ability to travel to the moon. Whichever one it was, it was undoubtedly something that made humanity freer, which obviously the Celestial Dragons couldn't abide.

Now, admittedly, the Titan metaphor isn't quite perfect, as the Titans actually lived on a different mountain, Othrys, but perhaps the Celestial Dragons came from a different mountainous "Land of Gods" before encroaching onto the Red Line, possibly even the now non-existent God Valley, so named for the canyon created by its tall cliffs (ch.957). Of course, there is one other location that could have served as the origin of the Celestial Dragons: the moon.

Winged Beings of the Moon

With the air-regulating bubbles they wear on their heads and the white, bemedaled robes they wear, many have noted that the Celestial Dragons' general design brings to mind astronauts. Coupled with the name "Celestial" Dragons, this has led to much speculation that the Celestial Dragons themselves may be from the moon. This is further enhanced by their similar appearance to the King and Queen of the Moon from the 1988 film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, who sport upward curling headdresses that appear remarkably similar to the upcurled hair of the Celestial Dragons.

Whether Oda has ever seen this movie, I can't say, but the resemblance is rather striking. Speaking of striking resemblances, it's worth noting that the Celestial Dragons aren't the only group potentially associated with the moon that wears their hair in an upward style: the Skypieans are too. Or, more specifically, the Skypieans of the Divine Squad, the direct servants of God (ch.272).

It could be a coincidence, but the fact that both groups are associated with the moon, gods, and upwards hairstyles, it really feels like the Celestial Dragons' visual designs are meant to be at least vaguely reminiscent of the Divine Squad's. Interestingly, we see a batch of Divine Squad members that had escaped to the Blue Sea from under Enel's rule at the Human Auction House in ch.501 of the Sabaody Archipelago arc, the same storyline in which the Celestial Dragons are introduced, almost as if to remind us that this hairstyle exists.

To me, this implies that the Celestial Dragons weren't just a batch of humans that decided they wanted to be gods, but in fact may have been formerly devout Skypieans that, for whatever reason, decided to overthrow the objects of their worship. This would also tie into the Olympian parallel, as the Olympians were the children of the Titans, so it would make sense for the Celestial Dragons to have been the metaphorical children of the Lunarians.

If that is the case, though, it's curious that they've abandoned their wings, but perhaps that's a deliberate symbol of their rise in status. After all, all of the Sky People that have held the title of God - Gan Fall, Ubau, and Enel - have never been seen wearing their wings, perhaps symbolizing themselves as the leading God and all others as the subservient angels.

That said, the Celestial Dragons are the descendants of the Twenty Kings (ch.497), rulers of various nations across the world, so it doesn't seem too likely they were all followers. I think it's more likely that one person, in particular, was a former follower and may have been the one to convince the Twenty Kings to join them in rising against the Lunarians. Perhaps they adopted the hairstyle and the uniform from this leader, who likely stopped wearing their wings upon deciding to rebel.

Speaking of wings, though, the relationship between wings and the moon has come up surprisingly often, at least four times now.

The first and most obvious would be the Sky People who we've already discussed, whose ancestors once inhabited the moon before descending to Earth over 1,100 years ago (ch.262, Robin confirms Shandora existed as far back as Year 402, 1,100 years ago) due to a lack of resources (ch.470 & 472).

Also, it may be nothing, but notice on the left of Enel Cover 35 that there's actually the face of a fourth person peeking out from offscreen just beneath the Skypiean. It's too early to tell whether that's meant to imply a fourth group of Sky People, but it's definitely Oda's style to drop a hint like that so far in advance (thanks to Artur of Library of Ohara for pointing this out). If this is the case, this could either be the Lunarians themselves or the formerly devout Celestial Dragons.

Next is the Kozuki clan, whose symbol is a crane and whose name contains the kanji for moon, implying that these are both major symbols in their family history.

Similar imagery is depicted in Kinemon's hidden message to the samurai of Wano in ch.921 to convey the plan for the raid on Onigashima.

The fact that a reversed crescent moon represents rebellion suggests that a proper crescent moon represents loyalty to the crown. This seems especially likely when one considers that all of the royal families of Wano have the kanji for moon in their names. The flaming birds within this message, while not explicitly related to the moon and only there to convey the timing of the plan, do seem suspiciously appropriate for the arc that also introduced a race of flaming birdfolk that has been established to be related to the moon.

The Kozuki clan also has ties to the Tenguyama clan, the only current extant member being Hitetsu, a man who either has or wears wings (he is seen without them in ch.1016). We've seen that half-breeds are capable of retracting their animal traits in the past, such as Dellinger's Fishman fangs and fins (ch.772), so it's possible that Hitetsu can do the same with his wings. This is most likely the case, as both Hitetsu and King strongly resemble the two most major types of tengu, the long-nosed daitengu and the crow-billed karasutengu, a parallel I don't think Oda would throw in so casually if it's not relevant.

The name Tenguyama specifically means "tengu mountain," implying that this group of tengu came from a mountain. While there are mountains in Wano, we currently only have one confirmed mountain that housed a group that could be compared to tengu: the Red Line. This could well imply that the "tengu mountain" that the Tenguyama clan came from and is named for is in fact the Red Line.

It would be especially fitting for the Tenguyama to be Lunarians as the accompanying Ignition ability would no doubt be helpful in their swordsmithing (ch.912). Speaking of, we also know that the Kozuki were once skilled stonemasons capable of shaping the Poneglyphs and seastone (ch.818), so perhaps they learned these skills from or alongside the Tenguyama.

Speaking of swords, we see in King's battle with Zoro that he has a sword with the ability to collapse pieces of its edge to turn into a swordbreaker (ch.1023). This resembles the Trick Mechanism Swords of Sasaki (ch.1019) and Holdem (ch.917, though only actually seen in use in the anime, ep.905). What's interesting about this is that the Japanese name for these weapons is Karakuri-to, which brings to mind Karakuri Island, the island of Vegapunk's birth and where we meet the Automata built by Dr. Tsukimi. Dr. Tsukimi, a man named for the moon, who enjoys gazing at the moon, and who built robots reminiscent of those that can be found on the moon and are therefore associated with the Lunarians, lives on an island that shares a name with a weapon used by a Lunarian, who in turn may or may not be related to a family known for their skill in crafting swords. This convoluted string of parallels carries many interesting implications.

For one, if the Tenguyama are swordsmiths and Lunarians, and the Lunarians are associated with the Sky People that crafted the Automata, it's possible that the Lunarians are the craftsmen that taught the Sky People how to build such complex machinery. If there are Lunarians that are both swordsmiths and mechanists, it would certainly be possible for a Lunarian somewhere along the way to have combined those two ideas into mechanized swords like the Karakuri-to. Therefore, King, with his entire outfit having mechanisms for revealing hidden weaponry so as to make his entire body a weapon, may be the one who designed and crafted all of the Karakuri-to seen throughout the ranks of the Beast Pirates.

The idea that the Lunarians were a technologically advanced race ties back into my earlier suggestion that they had a hand in the creation of the Ancient Weapons, possibly granting their technological prowess to the other races so as to allow them to make the weapons. If King introduced Karakuri-to to the rest of the Beast Pirates, perhaps the past Lunarians also introduced "karakuri" to the rest of the world, possibly being the ones to found Karakuri Island? Perhaps this is why Oda decided to wait so long to introduce us to the single greatest technological mind in the One Piece world: Dr. Vegapunk is a Lunarian, and revealing him too soon would have spoiled all of these other plot points? It's hard to say at this juncture, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were somehow connected to the Lunarians. Considering that as of ch.1028 the Marines are on their way to Wano to annex it, we may we'll be seeing the good doctor and his new, anti-Yonkou weapon developed by the SSG, so we'll likely get our answer as to his race soon enough.

If Vegapunk is in fact going to be making an appearance at Wano, the time may also be nigh for us to meet our final winged individual associated with the moon: it's the moment you've all been waiting for, we're talking about Monet!

Monet's wings go without saying, but less obvious for most people is her interest in the moon, evidenced by the stack of books with cut-off labels such as "ASTRO" (likely short for "ASTRONOMY") and "CLIP" (likely "ECLIPSE") seen in ch.666.

In my Grand Monet Theory, I suggested that Monet became interested in birds because of a Birdfolk who came to her island in North Blue, and later became interested in the moon because she desired freedom from her "misfortunate environment." I couldn't have imagined at the time that the Birdfolk directly inspired both of her interests, but knowing now that the Birdfolk are in fact named after the moon, it all fits too well!

With this new information, I have to imagine that the Lunarian that came to Monet's island when she was a child taught her about Lunarian society, their history, their culture, etc. Knowing that the Lunarians are near-extinct and that their homeland lies abandoned, it wouldn't at all be surprising for Monet to study birds to understand their biology (demonstrated by her "Bird" textbook from her childhood seen in SBS vol.80, and my icon) and astronomy to travel to the moon, potentially allowing her to revive their race and their civilization. This would also give Monet a grander dream than just "reach the moon," which gives her a goal that wouldn't be obtainable almost immediately after she joins the crew, an argument against her inclusion that I've heard many times.

It's also possible that Monet asked Law to make her into a harpy in an attempt to start a pseudo-Lunarian race. If all of the true Lunarians are gone, then a race of harpies could be the next best thing. Heck, knowing One Piece logic, the Op-Op Fruit actually encoded the bird features into Monet's genetics and she'd be able to have legitimate harpy children, why not?

Alternatively, Monet could be part Lunarian, but her bloodline is so diluted that she didn't inherit wings, similar to how Chimney is 1/4th mermaid and doesn't have fins, though she still retains her ability to swim exceptionally well (ch.403). In this scenario, she likely would have been told about Lunarian society by her parents and became interested in studying ornithology and astronomy for hints of her lost heritage and homeland. Perhaps lamenting her lack of wings, she jumped at the first opportunity she saw, but didn't quite understand that the wings were meant to be on her back. I don't necessarily think this is the case, as presumably King and Hitetsu are heavily diluted Lunarians, and yet both of them still have wings, but it's fun to think about.

I also think it's rather telling that Monet is designed after a harpy, a creature from Greek mythology. As the Ancient Weapons are named after Greek mythological figures, and at least Uranus seems likely to be named after a Lunarian, then Monet's Greek imagery could easily be meant to further imply her relation to the Lunarians.

As for how Monet ties into Vegapunk, I believe that the reason Monet didn't appear during the Dressrosa arc is because she chose to follow the children of Punk Hazard to Vegapunk rather than rushing to Doflamingo's aid (as I explain in more detail in the Grand Monet Theory). If this is the case, it may well be fate that she becomes acquainted with Vegapunk, either because he may be a Lunarian or because he is the one who has the technology to potentially revive a lost race as evidenced by his supposedly failed Ancient Giant clones, the Numbers (ch.989). Furthermore, he's also the one who is the most likely to have the technology for traveling to the moon (at least without being aware that balloons are apparently sufficient), so Vegapunk is really the best option for Monet no matter which of her potential goals she's trying to achieve.

As a quick aside, I also think it would be a fun little bit of irony for Monet to have been given the Snow-Snow Fruit if she feels such a deep connection to the Lunarians to emulate them; not only is she now the conceptual opposite, producing cold rather than heat, but she wouldn't even able to get near a Lunarian if they're using their Ignition as this ability would be her natural weakness. Alternatively, if she actually turns out to be part Lunarian, I think it would be really neat if Oda could figure out a way to justify her using Ignition and the Snow-Snow Fruit simultaneously, making her appearance in the Burning Lands of Punk Hazard some fun foreshadowing.

On the subject of the Ignition ability, let's take a look at what parallels we can draw from King's flames.

Fire Conjurers of Legend

Those of you who read my Missing Race Theory may recall that one of my arguments for a Reptilian race involved proposing an elemental system onto the various races (Seafolk=water, Minks=electricity, humans=fire, Birdfolk/Lunarians=wind, and Reptilians=earth). Well, as much as it pains me to admit it, I was wrong. The Lunarians are, in fact, the fire elementals, and humans are likely neutral. I suppose it's fair to replace wind with electricity, as many fantasy settings group them together, but it still makes me sad. I don't think that this negates my theory that the Reptilians are earth elementals, as there is no longer a reason to associate them with fire, but that's a topic for later.

For now, I want to dwell on Queen's statement towards Sanji in ch.1023 that as he is neither a modified human nor a Lunarian, he shouldn't be capable of igniting his body. At first, I thought this was just an excuse to namedrop the Lunarians, but I've now seen a few people suggest that Sanji is, in fact, a Lunarian. Again, I initially thought this was just a misreading of the dialogue, but then I remembered something: Sanji's father, Judge, has the epithet of Garuda. I've always thought that was a strange detail, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

In Hinduism, Garuda is an individual, the king of birds also known as the Sun Bird. In Buddhism, however, the garuda are a species of birds or birdfolk who are enemies of the naga, or snake-people. The Japanese interpretation of the garuda are known as karura, who are specifically depicted as fire-breathing birdfolk that eat dragons or serpents. Therefore, Judge's epithet is already inherently tied to the image of creatures who perfectly match the description of the Lunarians, suggesting that there may be some kind of connection after all. It may also be worth noting that tengu (who we've established to be related to both King and Hitetsu) are widely believed to be derived from garuda as well, being depicted in at least one mythological account carrying off a dragon in the same fashion that garuda carry off naga. If we go with the dragon interpretation, that would give further credence to the rivalry between the Lunarians and the Celestial Dragons.

For argument's sake, I will note that Judge's epithet may be related to the eagle ornament above his throne (ch.839), which seems to be based on either the Garuda Pancasila of Indonesia or the more troubling Reichsadler, which is most commonly associated with Nazi Germany. Given that Judge is called Garuda and that his country is literally called an "evil army," I think it's unfortunately safe to say that it's a bit of both, but the question in context is whether he was given the name Garuda because that was a symbol he used, he took on the symbol because he had received that name for another reason like his aerial-based fighting style, or if the two are completely unrelated. Honestly, though, I personally think that it doesn't really matter which is the case, as the name in and of itself may just be a subtle hint by Oda that there's a connection between Sanji and the Lunarians, and Judge himself has nothing to do with it.

That said, Reiju refers to the Germa Kingdom as a "nation without land" (ch.826), as the kingdom is a man-made, modular island carried upon the backs of giant snails. Judge himself tell us that this is because the Vinsmoke family was banished from their homeland after their short-lived takeover of North Blue (ch.871), presumably by Sora, Warrior of the Sea and the Marines based on the fictionalized retelling of Germa's history sanctioned by the World Government (ch.825). A group that was forced from their land by the World Government (and by extension the Celestial Dragons), known for its technological advancements, led by a man whose name evokes fire-breathing birdfolk that combat dragons, and whose history has been covered up by the ones who banished them in the first place? There are just too many parallels between Germa's and the Lunarian's stories for me to ignore the possibility that these groups are somehow related. Plus, Germa is located in North Blue, the same sea as Monet, who we've also established as having a number of connections to the Lunarians, which may imply that after the Lunarians were chased off of the Red Line, they specifically ended up in North Blue.

It's also worth noting that Judge once worked with both Queen and Vegapunk as part of the research team, MADS (ch.1017). We can assume that Queen knows about Lunarians because of his partnership with King, but it seems like quite the coincidence that he is associated with two individuals that we've come to suspect may be related to the Lunarians, who in turn are related to each other. King doesn't really seem like the type to talk about himself much given how secretive he is of even his own face, so I'm perfectly willing to believe that the expression he made when Queen said "Lunarian" wasn't in reaction to Sanji possibly being a Lunarian, but to Queen himself knowing of his heritage. This doesn't prove anything of course, but it's certainly suspicious.

But what does this mean for Sanji? We learned in ch.1023 that his body had begun undergoing some kind of change from exposure to his Raid Suit, which we have since learned was the development of the same modifications that his modified human siblings have, including their signature Exoskeleton (ch.1028). There was originally some debate as to whether those changes were going to be his Germa 66 augmentations or latent Lunarian DNA, but unfortunately, as this theory has taken me a couple of months to actually complete (I'm a busy man, forgive me), that bit of speculation has already been put to rest.

However, that still doesn't explain his ability to conjure flame. Remember, Sanji is only just now getting the enhancements, but he's had Diable Jambe since at least Enies Lobby, implying the two are unrelated. Furthermore, as seen in ch.1031, Sanji seems to have gained the ability to become invisible without his Raid Suit just as "Electric Blue" Niji was able to use his electric attacks in casual attire (ch.840). It could be that Sanji just moved fast enough to vanish, but if he can become invisible at will, this would further confirm that Sanji's ability as a modified human was always going to be invisibility, not fire. Therefore, odd as it may be, a previously unknown Lunarian ancestry would be a much more fitting explanation.

Considering that Judge is the one known as Garuda, it would make sense for him to be the carrier of the Lunarian genes, though Sora, whose name means sky and may imply a relationship with the birdfolk, isn't a non-option. Regardless of which parent is responsible, there is one other hint that Sanji may be related to the Lunarians: his eyebrows.

Recall that when Sanji first started complaining about his body feeling odd, Zoro retorted that it was probably because of his weird eyebrows (ch.1023). While fighting King in ch.1027, Zoro managed to crack King's mask, revealing a strange, wavy design just above King's eye. A weird eyebrow, if you will.

Prior to this reveal, I was expecting King to actually have spiral eyebrows, but the fact that there's an unusual eyebrow shape explicitly being shown to be a relevant symbol that a Lunarian is trying to hide to the point of rage upon its reveal implies that there's some kind of connection here between the two.

Since all of Sanji's siblings have spiral eyebrows but neither of their parents does, I think it's safe to say that they're meant to be a sign of the genetic tampering. This is further exemplified by the fact that Sanji's spirals, which normally point to his right, have now switched to his left to match his siblings now that he's completely awakened to his modifications (ch.1031).

However, just because the spirals are the result of Judge's modifications doesn't necessarily mean they aren't also related to their potential Lunarian heritage. Perhaps while adding special abilities like super strength and the Exoskeleton to his children Judge accidentally awoke an inactive chromosome, like when geneticists made chickens grow teeth by activating a dormant pathway in their genome, which just happened to express itself as spiraling eyebrows.

But why spiral eyebrows? It seems like such an odd detail. Some fans have suggested that the Vinsmoke children were given Devil Fruit-like abilities, and thus have spirals to mirror those found on Devil Fruit (which I acknowledge is a strong possibility), but Oda may actually have already given us the answer all the way back in volume 7. In an SBS, a fan asked Oda why Sanji's eyebrows were spirals. His response? "The sun, moon and Earth all spin in circles...Sanji's eyebrows channel that same energy." At the time, most people took this to be a joke, but knowing that Sanji has an ability supposedly unique to the Lunarians and that his eyebrows supposedly carry the rotational energy of the moon, the connection practically draws itself. Why King's eyebrows aren't spirals is still up in the air, but perhaps different shapes channel different energies? Or they're simply aesthetic and denote different clans within Lunarian society, and the "energy" part was a joke meant to distract us from the moon connection.

I will point out that Sanji is far from the only character who is able to use fire attacks, but almost none of them were able to generate flame spontaneously, even if they seemed to be immune to the flames they conjured. Pearl used sparks (ch.55), Wanze used friction (ch.369), Marigold used a match (ch.520), Katakuri built up pressure to cause his mochi to explode (ch.894). Mr. 3's flame seems spontaneous, but it's generally accepted to be a part of his Devil Fruit's ability, so until proven otherwise, we'll assume that it is. Doflamingo's Overheat (ch.724) is depicted as a heat-based attack in the anime and is colored orange in the official full-color manga, but there really isn't any canon implication that it's meant to be literally "overheating." Some characters like Holdem (ch.917) and Heat (ch.505) are able to breathe fire with no explanation, but there is likely a trick to these techniques considering that multiple people have shown this ability.

Sanji himself originally used friction by spinning at high speed to ignite his leg (ch.415), but all later uses seem spontaneous, implying that he's unlocked an ability reminiscent of the Lunarians.

Based on Oda's SBS comment, perhaps the friction wasn't actually the important part here, but rather the centrifugal force, allowing Sanji to channel the rotational energy of the moon? Maybe all Lunarians need to do this in the beginning when they're first learning how to use Ignition, and afterward gain the ability to do so whenever they please once they have a feel for it or can consistently envision the spirals. Regardless of whether the spirals are relevant, Sanji being one of a small handful of characters who can ignite without a clear source strongly implies some kind of relation to the Lunarians. It's also worth noting that Sanji's fire-conjuring is called "Diable Jambe," evoking imagery of the devil, which could be symbolic of the Lunarians opposition of the Celestial Dragons.

There are only two more characters with a notable ability to ignite at will: Kinemon and Luffy, both of whom may have ties to the Lunarians.

Kinemon's Foxfire Style swordsmanship allows him to not only cut through fire, but to generate it (ch.672). The mechanism for this is unknown, but as a retainer of the Kozuki Clan, Kinemon may well have learned of this ability from Hitetsu, who we currently believe to be a Lunarian. This could potentially imply that Ignition is a learnable ability rather than a genetic one, like Fishman Karate's water manipulation, which could explain how Sanji and Luffy were both able to teach themselves a similar technique.

On the subject of Luffy, he only seems to be able to ignite his fist, and it's very ambiguous how he does so. In ch.644, when Luffy first uses Red Hawk, the visual could easily be interpreted as either spontaneous combustion, friction against the ocean around him, or the intense rise in his body heat from Gear 2nd.

Even if Luffy isn't generating this fire spontaneously, though, there's one more detail worth noting about both Red Hawk and his most recent addition to the Red series of attacks, Red Roc (ch.1000): both are named after birds. To me, this association between fire and birds strongly implies some kind of relationship to the literal firebirds that are the Lunarians. I'm not sure if Luffy would be descended from them, as I think that's reserved for Sanji if anyone in the crew (or Monet if she actually joins), but since Rayleigh learned the True History with Roger (ch.507), I wouldn't be surprised if he somehow learned about Ignition and taught it to Luffy during the timeskip. Even if Luffy hasn't inherited the Lunarians' genes, he's most certainly inherited their will.

But if Luffy isn't related to the Lunarians and hasn't even heard of them, how would he have come to inherit their will? Well, that's easy: the Lunarians share their will with the Great Kingdom and Joy Boy.

Ancient Alliances

Earlier I mentioned that the Lunarians are likely the creators or co-creators of the Ancient Weapons based on their role as ancient gods (which the Ancient Weapons were explicitly named after) and the strong likelihood that they were a technologically advanced race (based on the Sky People's Automata and King's Karakuri-to). If this is the case, it would inherently imply a strong relationship between the Lunarians and the Great Kingdom, who themselves are all but explicitly stated to be related to the Ancient Weapons by the Poneglyphs.

For a quick refresher, the Poneglyphs are a series of thirty messages (ch.846) from the Great Kingdom to tell future generations of the events of the Void Century (ch.395). As they anticipated that their enemies, the current World Government, would destroy any documentation written by conventional means, the Great Kingdom commissioned Wano's master stonemasons, the Kozuki clan (ch.818), to inscribe their messages in unbreakable stone. The Poneglyphs were then distributed to the allies of the Great Kingdom, who have been guarding them to this day to various levels of success.

From this, we can discern that any civilization or group that houses a Poneglyph that they didn't explicitly pilfer from someone else was allied with the Great Kingdom. These include, but are not limited to: the Nefertari family of Alabasta, the one family of the Twenty Kings that didn't climb the Red Line to become one of the Celestial Dragons (ch.722), holding the Poneglyph with the location of the Ancient Weapon Pluton (ch.193); the Minks of the Mokomo Dukedom, a known ally to the Kozuki clan, holding one of the four Road Poneglyphs (ch.818); Fishman Island, the single most oppressed group under the World Government's rule, holding an apology to the original Poseidon from Joy Boy (ch.649), the person who left the One Piece on Laugh Tale (ch.967), and formerly a second Road Poneglyph(ch.967); and the Shandians, one of the three tribes of Sky People, holding the location of the Ancient Weapon Poseidon (ch.301).

We already had reason to believe that the Lunarians are related to the Great Kingdom because of the possible connection between them and the Kozuki clan through the Tenguyama clan, but if they are in fact related to the Sky People, this further proves that the Lunarians were in contact with the Great Kingdom. The fact that the Shandians specifically held the Poneglyph of Poseidon implies that they were acquainted with the Fishmen, who were allies of Joy Boy. Based on Kaido's statement that Luffy "couldn't be Joy Boy either," we can assume that Joy Boy is a title rather than a name (ch.1014). Given the name and the relationship to Fishman Island, many fans have concluded that Joy Boy is in fact Nika, the laughing Sun God and patron saint of slaves.

Joy Boy's promise to the original Poseidon involved "Noah's true purpose," which presumably is to carry a large number of people (or Fishmen) somewhere, most likely the surface world. The Fishmen speak of the sun as a symbol of freedom quite often, so it would make a lot of sense for the Sun God to be the one who promised the Fishmen to take them to the world where the sun shines.

Given Shyarly's prophecy that Luffy will be the one to "destroy Fishman Island," (ch.610) and the high likelihood that said destruction will actually be a good thing, it seems likely that whatever Luffy does to destroy Fishman Island will be necessary for bringing the Fishmen to the surface, fulfilling Joy Boy's promise. This will definitively prove Kaido wrong and solidify Luffy as having become Joy Boy. But why exactly does Luffy need to be the one who inherits Joy Boy's will?

Because there's still one more group we haven't established as being tied to the Lunarians yet: God's Natural Enemies, the D. clan (ch.764).

We've already established that the Lunarians were a group that were definitively in opposition to the Celestial Dragons, so it's possible that either the D. come from the Lunarian tribe, were another particularly devout set of believers who entered a holy war with the Celestial Dragons who deposed their gods, or were simply an allied nation that rushed to defend their friends. Every D. we've met up to this point has been either human or Giant, so they probably aren't Lunarians (or at least not pure-blooded Lunarians), so chances seem good that they were once the royalty of the Great Kingdom, the human faction of the Ancient Weapons' creators.

That's not to say that there were no D.'s among the Lunarians, as clearly it is not restricted to humans, and it was probably more like a codename that the allied forces chose to use at the time to show their affiliation, so really who's to say. The fact that Luffy has fire attacks with bird names strongly implies some connection between the D. and the Lunarians, so if Sanji could be related to them, there really isn't any reason to think that Luffy can't be, even if the only thing he inherited was the Ignition ability.

I do think it's worth noting that technically Luffy does have wings. Not literal wings, mind you, but in SBS vol.73, Oda refers to Zoro and Sanji as "Luffy's wings" in the original Japanese, an idiom that effectively means they're the left- and right-hand men who support him. That may seem like a stretch, but it really is the kind of silly metaphor Oda would use in a situation like this to foreshadow Luffy's connection to a winged group.

If he is genetically related to the Lunarians, I get the feeling he inherited that bloodline from his mother, who has been shrouded in mystery the entire series, presumably because seeing her could give it away early. This would be especially interesting as his father's name is Dragon, and as we discussed earlier, dragons (or naga) are the enemies of garuda and tengu, whom the Lunarians are based on, so Luffy's birth could potentially represent the reconciliation between the two.

...Actually, if Luffy could potentially be the reconciliation between the garuda and the dragons, then to be thematically appropriate, wouldn't Monkey D. Dragon need to be a Celestial Dragon?

To be frank, I don't personally subscribe to this theory, but it was one put forth by Library of Ohara administrator Artur, who has made his career on understanding the intricacies of One Piece, so I think it's well worth considering. Artur incorporated this theory into Return to the Reverie, his fan manga project depicting his interpretation of what likely happened in the skipped portion of the Reverie arc. In ch.1, Garp tells Hina that he defended the Celestial Dragons in the God Valley Incident (ch.957 in canon) despite his distaste for them because his child was among them. In ch.3, Dragon himself reveals that his father Garp had been assigned to protect a Celestial Dragon, Dragon's mother, whom Garp fell in love with because she shared similar sentiments to the Donquixote family that the Celestial Dragons are human, not gods (ch.763 in canon).

I believe that Artur's interpretation is based almost entirely on 1) justifying Garp's reasoning for defending the Celestial Dragons, and 2) Dragon's name. It seems pretty odd that a character explicitly named "Dragon" is an opponent of the "Celestial Dragons." This probably feels like less of a redundancy in the original Japanese, as the Celestial Dragons are called the Tenryuubito (literally Heavenly Dragon People), but in English, the conceptual overlap is a lot more obvious. If he is in fact one of them, it would explain both of those inconsistencies while also providing another connecting point between the Celestial Dragons, the Lunarians, and Luffy as a bridge.

That said, I don't necessarily think that Luffy has the blood of the Lunarians in him, as I personally would prefer that Luffy be as amazing as he is while being an otherwise perfectly normal human who just happens to have the willpower necessary to become amazing. I think it's more that he inherited their will, not their genetics.

Before we start wrapping all of this together, there is one more thread I'd like to discuss. If the Celestial Dragons are in fact meant to represent the serpentine enemies of the garuda, whether that be literal dragons or the naga, is it possible that the Celestial Dragons are themselves a distinct race in the One Piece world?

Missing Reptilian Race

Let's revisit Kinemon's hidden message for a moment: two flaming birds (the garuda or the Lunarians) on either side of a reverse moon (stated to stand for rebellion), standing over a snake (the naga or an in-universe enemy to the Lunarians). It doesn't seem like a coincidence that Oda chose these symbols considering how well they overlap with the mythology of the garuda. If the snake in this symbol is meant to represent an enemy of the Lunarians, I think it's quite interesting that it is later revised to look like a lizard (even if that was just a misreading from Kinemon; ch.954 and 975). This may imply that the "naga" we have in our story are not just snakes, but also lizards. This would line up quite well with my aforementioned Missing Race Theory.

For those who haven't read it, here's a quick refresher: Big Mom claims to be missing three races, the Giants, the Lunarians, and a third unnamed race (ch.951); based in part on the Gorgon Sisters' false story that they had defeated the petrifying snake-woman of legend (ch.517) and on Monet's obscured tattoo that resembles a gorgon jolly roger (ch.686), I suggested that this third race may be the reptile-equivalent of the other animal-like races. As such, I have been tentatively referring to them as Reptilians.

At the time, I suggested that the Reptilians and "Birdfolk" may have had a rivalry, which in turn led to the Reptilians playing a role in wiping out the population of the Birdfolk, but really I only suggested that because it was a convenient explanation for why those two factions would meet in Monet's backstory. Now that we know that the Birdfolk are the Lunarians, though, we can use what we've learned about them to construct more solid reasoning for why the two races would be at odds.

Recall that I said earlier that the garuda race prey on the naga? Mythologically, this rivalry comes from the mother of all naga, Kadru, tricking her sister, Vinata, mother of all garuda, into slavery. Vinata was only released upon her son, Garuda the individual, procuring the amrita, or elixir of immortality, for the naga and granting them the ability to shed old skins and become young again. It's hard to say if Oda will make a one-to-one parallel with this origin story, but given how strongly the garuda symbolism is already shaping up to be with the Lunarians, it wouldn't be surprising if the final race turned out to tie into that symbolism as their naga counterparts.

The naga enslaving the garuda draws an easy parallel to the slave-trafficking Celestial Dragons. We also know that something similar to the elixir of immortality exists within One Piece through the Op-Op Fruit's Immortality Operation (ch.761), which has been suggested by many fans to have been used on the World Government's Five Elders or the secret King of the World, Im, as the Five Elders appear to be the same age in the Ohara flashback from twenty years prior (ch.395) as they are in the present (ch.233). It's possible that the Lunarians somehow acted as the arbiters of the Op-Op Fruit, which may have been part of the reason they were targetted by the Celestial Dragons in the first place.

It's also worth noting that the naga are often associated with bodies of water, including seas, and are depicted as guardians of treasure. The Celestial Dragons, meanwhile, are "gods" that rule over all of the world's seas and are actively gatekeeping the ultimate treasure, the One Piece.

The Celestial Dragons are also false gods that have taken the place of the previous gods, likely even taking credit for their predecessors' accomplishments. If reptiles being falsely worshipped as gods that demand sacrifice doesn't sound familiar, it should: the same description applies to Kashigami, the giant snake revered as a deity among the Shandians after centuries of having forgotten their origins. If the Shandians are in fact tied to the Lunarians, then it would be extremely ironic for them to have taken up worshipping a snake, a symbol of the Lunarians' greatest enemy.

From their name, actions, iconography, and negative relationship with the Lunarians, the Celestial Dragons have a suspiciously high number of parallels to the naga, to the point that it seems like the intention must have been that the Celestial Dragons are meant to represent the naga. If there is in fact a Reptilian race, it would make absolutely perfect sense for them to have become the modern-day Celestial Dragons, possibly hiding their reptile features through minor shapeshifting as I suggested in my previous theory.

That said...I don't actually believe that the Celestial Dragons are Reptilians. Sorry to immediately double back on one of my points, but I honestly think it would be harmful to the One Piece story for that to be the case. For one, I think that it's important for the Celestial Dragons to be human and nothing else, as the narrative has gone out of its way to express that they are no different nor better than anyone else, they simply have an unreasonable amount of political power. Having them be revealed as a secret race with its own unique powerset would undermine that message in my opinion.

Secondly, I think it would make for very bad optics if the greedy, slave-trading group that rules the world both in broad daylight and through shady behind-the-scenes conspiracies were to be revealed to be "lizard people," as that would very unfortunately resemble real-world antisemitic propaganda. I'm not saying that Oda would deliberately pepper antisemitic dog-whistles into his story, but I'm also not saying he hasn't laid the groundwork to have done so inadvertently.

I brought it up in the first place because the number of parallels were difficult to ignore, so I didn't want to discount the possibility entirely. I'd rather it not be the case, but I have faith that Oda would be able to depict it in a way that doesn't betray his narrative if he does.

Fortunately, it most likely isn't the case. Monet's tattoo seems to be that of a pirate crew's jolly roger rather than the brand of the Celestial Dragons, so even if both are somehow related to the Lunarians, they don't have to be the same group. It's entirely possible that the Reptilians have some kind of tie to the Celestial Dragons, but I think it's safe to say that the two are distinct groups. Plus, I can't imagine Oda would give up on the delicious irony of Monet, a Lunarian sympathizer, being saved from one of the Lunarian's greatest enemies (the Reptilians) by a member of their other greatest enemy (Doflamingo, a former World Noble) who was dressed to resemble a Lunarian (in his feather coat). It practically writes itself.

As I was writing this theory, Worst Gen user @WillowEgypt gave me some insight into how the Reptilians may be related to the Celestial Dragons if they are not one and the same. As I said earlier, I was inspired to theorize that the Reptilians exist in the first place by Monet's Medusa-like tattoo. In Greek mythology, after Perseus beheaded Medusa, he gave the head to Athena as an offering thanks to her gift of the polished shield that allowed him to defeat Medusa in the first place. Athena then placed the head upon her and Zeus' shared shield: the Aegis (also spelled Aigis). If you don't recognize that name, you should; it's the proper name of the branch of Cipher Pol that works directly under the Celestial Dragons, Cipher Pol Aigis Zero, AKA CP0 (ch.712).

Just as Medusa's head was repurposed as the shield of the gods, the Reptilians may have been recruited as the "shields" of the Celestial Dragons, the Gods of This World. This could even be how they managed to overtake the Lunarians in the first place; they specifically enlisted the help of the race that was the best equipped to combat the Lunarians. Afterward, as the Celestial Dragons are so keen on hiding any information that may paint them in a bad light, they may have "convinced" the Reptilians to go into hiding, potentially explaining why certain CP0 agents wear masks. As Robin notes in ch.1031, the masked agents are significantly stronger than the non-masked agents such as Lucci or Stussy, which may well be because of their Reptilian heritage.

WillowEgypt also notes that the symbol of Medusa's head upon the Aegis, the Gorgoneion, is often depicted with wings, which to WillowEgypt suggests CP0 is related to Monet's backstory. WillowEgypt interpreted this to mean that Monet is a member of CP0, a triple agent spying on Doflamingo, but I personally feel it's more likely that a rogue group of Reptilians escaped Celestial Dragon rule to become pirates, hence Monet's tattoo resembling a Jolly Roger.

Of course, this is all predicated on the idea that there even is a Reptilian race. Again, as it has taken me over two months to finish writing this, some evidence has surfaced that may or may not contradict this section. In ch.1025, Kaidou insists that Yamato is the "child of ogres," and as such should not associate with "humans." At present, it's very difficult to tell if this is meant to be metaphorical in the sense that the Celestial Dragons aren't "human" or literal in the sense that a Fishman isn't "human."

If the Ogres are in fact their own race, that would most certainly explain why Kaidou is referred to as the World's Strongest Creature (ch.795), as the title implies that he is inhuman. That said, I personally think it would be very boring for that to be the case, for one simple reason: there's nothing all that special or interesting about the Ogre race from what we've seen. Sure, Kaidou's big and imposing, but what differentiates him from a large human? His horns? Horns are a dime a dozen in One Piece!

Goat horns? Caesar Clown. Sheep horns? Merry. Devil horns? Moria and Hanyabal. The Ancient Giants like Oars and his clones, the Numbers, also have similar horns to Kaidou's, with Oars, in particular, having nearly identical horns to Kaidou. If it turns out that every horned person we've met so far is an Ogre and there's some forgotten ability among them that hasn't made itself known yet, that could be fun. Maybe all Ogres have extreme endurance and Merry survived Captain Kuro's attack because he's actually as unkillable as Kaido (ch.28 and 31). As it stands, though, honestly it feels more like "ogres" are the mixture between Ancient Giants and humans, similar to the Wotans, Giant-Fishmen hybrids (ch.309).

Obviously, time will tell, but at the moment, I still think that the Reptilians are the more likely and more interesting option for Big Mom's missing third race. It won't invalidate anything else I've suggested so far if I turn out to be wrong about the Reptilians, as the Celestial Dragons can represent the naga just fine as they are and Monet's backstory could easily involve a Medusa-themed crew rather than literal gorgons, I just haven't given up on that yet.

And with that, I do believe we've gone over all of our threads. Now there's only one thing left to do: arrange it all into a single timeline.

The True History

Since this is basically going to be a summary of everything we've already talked about, we'll consider this the "Let's Review" section. Now, let's start from the very beginning.

At some point in the One Piece world's history, humans, Fishmen, Lunarians, Reptilians and all of the other races evolve from a common ancestor, as evidenced by their ability to interbreed. Each adapted for particular ecological niches, such as being able to breathe underwater or fly. Among these groups, the Lunarians and the Reptilians developed a particular animosity towards each other, possibly because they had to compete for resources within their environment and evolved competing abilities in an attempt to overtake each other.

The Fishmen (and by extension, the Merfolk), likely due to differences with humans, are forced to live underwater rather than on the surface, and congregate on an underwater island suspended within a bubble illuminated by the Sunlight Tree Eve, whose roots transmit light from the sun.

The Lunarians, with their ability to fly, use this power to ascend the Red Line. Eventually, perhaps through experimentation or one of them throwing a tantrum and simply flying blindly into the sky, the Lunarians discover that they are capable of traveling to the moon, thus earning their name.

Seeing a group of winged people traveling freely through the skies, unfettered by the confines of the sea, some humans begin worshipping the Lunarians as if they are gods. To show reverence, these groups begin wearing wings so as to resemble their deities, though different wing shapes arise presumably due to cultural differences. These groups, who would later come to be known as the Sky People (and later divided into the Skypieans, Birkans and Shandians), make some kind of appeal to the Lunarians that convince them to help them ascend to the moon, which they worship as a patch of Endless Earth where water would never limit their ability to travel.

On the moon, the Lunarians and the Sky People make amazing technological advancements, creating the underground, electrically powered city of Birka along with an army of robot servants, the Automata. Presumably, their technology helps them to survive life on the moon despite the lack of natural resources, likely allowing them to maximize how long supplies brought from Earth can last on the moon. Seeing that this process is unsustainable, the Lunarians return to Earth to live on the Red Line, but the Sky People ignore their warnings and stay behind.

Sometime before the year 402, over 1,100 years before the current day, the lack of resources forces the Sky People to return to Earth, leaving the Automata behind in Birka. Some of the Sky People, the Skypieans and the Birkans, land on an Imperiocumulus, a cloud dense enough to support life, which ironically still cannot grow plants for farming but does at least allow for fishing, making it more sustainable than the moon. Using the technological skills they learned in their time with the Lunarians, these groups create new advancements from Dials and Island Clouds.

Only the Shandians make it back to Earth proper, landing in Jaya. Because of a lack of materials, the Shandians do not continue to make technological advancements as the Skypieans do, but instead find gold that they use to construct Shandora, the City of Gold (which, fun fact, is named after the Sanskrit word Chandra, meaning both "moon" and the adjective "to glitter like gold", another shockingly early hint to their origin).

Even without the Lunarians to guide them, all three groups do continue to hold onto their religious beliefs: the Skypieans and Birkans choose "Gods" as government officials, while the Shandians begin worshipping the giant snakes of Jaya (ironically creatures that more closely resemble their former gods' enemies).

Two hundred years pass, to approximately the year 600. A thus-far unnamed "Great Kingdom" is founded, and a unique individual, Nika, is born. Whether Nika is royalty or not is unclear, but with his sunny disposition and penchant for laughter, he sets out to sea and meets people of various kingdoms and races, befriending them and making allies across the world: the Kozuki clan of Wano, the Minks of the Mokomo Dukedom, the Fishmen of the Ryugu Kingdom, the Shandians of Shandora, the Nefertari clan of Alabasta, and even the Lunarians of the Red Line. Because of his constant smile, Nika earns the nickname Joy Boy.

Nika becomes particularly close with three people on his travels: Pluton, a shipwright in a city that would later come to be known as Water 7; Uranus, a Lunarian; and Poseidon, the princess of Fishman Island. Learning of Poseidon's unique ability to communicate with Sea Kings, Nika is inspired to come up with a plan to unite the world. Using Poseidon's ability, the Sea Kings of the Calm Belt can be made to allow for safe passage, Pluton's ships can be used to collapse Reverse Mountain and other key points on the Red Line to remove the divide between hemispheres, and Uranus' technology can be used to design a weather-controlling device to normalize the erratic weather patterns of the Grand Line.

Of course, destroying a portion of the Red Line would result in the destruction of Fishman Island, so Nika promises Poseidon that this plan will not be enacted until he has found a new land for the Fishmen to live on, one where they will be able to know the sun's light directly and not be forced to live separately from humans. As a show of good faith, Nika convinces Pluton to construct Noah, a ship large enough to hold all of the inhabitants of Fishman Island, designed to be drawn by the Sea Kings. Because of this promise, the Fishmen come to consider Nika a Sun God, one who will deliver from persecution and grant them the sun.

Nika shares his plan with the kingdoms of the world, expecting to be met with excitement at the prospect of free international travel, but many seem less than enthusiastic. Im, a former priest of the Sky People, has preemptively convinced the kings of twenty nations, including Nika's friend King Nefertari, that Nika's plan threatens their countries and the kings' power. These Twenty Kings spread propaganda about Nika's plan, calling Pluton's ship, Uranus' weather device and Poseidon herself weapons of mass destruction to sow distrust among the citizens.

Nika continues to try to convince people that his plan is in their best interest, but with constant interference from the Twenty Kings, this only serves to flare the conflict between Nika's supporters and opponents. Eventually, a war breaks out between the two factions, the polar opposite to all that Nika ever wanted.

As part of the war effort, the Twenty Kings enlist the Reptilians onto their side, citing Nika's friendship with the Lunarians as proof that he is their enemy. With the help of the Reptilians, the Twenty Kings scale the Red Line and attack the Lunarians in the Land of Gods.

The surprise attack results in the death of many of the Lunarians. The few who remain scatter across the globe. The majority of the survivors make their way to the North Blue, though some travel into the sections of the Grand Line that would later come to be known as Paradise and the New World. One group, who would come to be known as the Tenguyama clan, flee to Wano, an allied nation, and become smiths for the ruling Kozuki clan.

As the war has waged for nearly a century and Nika has become quite aged, he realizes that this is a battle that he cannot win. However, not one to give up hope, Nika believes that someday, someone will inherit his will and create the unified, free world that he dreams of. To ensure this, Nika emplores the Kozuki to utilize their stonemasonry to create the Poneglyphs, unbreakable stone tablets with messages relaying the truth of the past hundred years to those who are brave enough to oppose the Twenty Kings. The tablets are written in a language unique to Wano so as not to have their contents known to the Twenty Kings or their followers.

The identities and locations of the "weapons" are hidden to keep them from falling into the hands of the Twenty Kings: Poseidon's identity is obscured, Uranus returns to the moon one last time to hide his weather device, and Pluton is approached by King Nefertari with an offer to hide his ship within the dunes of Alabasta as penance for their betrayal of Nika. Not completely trusting King Nefertari, Pluton gives the blueprints for the ship to some of his shipwright apprentices, instructing them to create a second ship to oppose the original if it is ever revived by the enemy. Poneglyphs are constructed detailing the locations of each "weapon" as well as the story of the events of what would come to be known as the Void Century.

Knowing that the world is entering a long night that will one day see its dawn, Nika entrusts the name "D." to his closest friends and followers, a symbol meant to pass down their will to see the Dawn to future generations.

Nika journeys to a hidden island that he had discovered after traveling the entire world and leaves his final Poneglyph there for the few who are able to discern its location. This Poneglyph details his plan for the unification of the world, the functions of the three "weapons," and most importantly, the tale of all of the laughter that he left in his wake. It is this plan to make the world into one that would one day receive the name "One Piece."

Before facing his end with a smile, Nika has the Kozuki create a Poneglyph not meant for the dreamers of the future, but for his dear friend Poseidon whom he had concocted this plan for in the first place. He apologizes for failing to bring her and her people to the land he promised, but assures her that someday someone will come to fulfill the promise in his place.

With the war over, all records of Nika and his Great Kingdom are destroyed by the Twenty Kings. Knowing that the Land of Gods is now vacant, the Twenty Kings decide that they can attain greater power than they ever had as mere kings, and relabel themselves as the Gods that Created this World, the World Nobles, and claim the Land of Gods as the Holy Land of Mary Geoise. Having received the aid of the Reptilians, the Twenty Kings adopt a dragon as their symbol, earning the nickname Celestial Dragons. Only the Nefertari, who regret their involvement in the war, remain on the surface world below and reject godhood.

Within Mary Geoise, Im and five advisors, the Five Elders, utilize the power of the Op-Op Fruit to become immortal, allowing them to continue to rule over the world they have created for all eternity.

Fearing the potential for anyone ever inheriting Nika's will, the Celestial Dragons continue to keep the Reptilians in their employ, but require that they wear masks so as to keep their existence a secret. Some Reptilians refuse to go into hiding and return to the surface, eventually resorting to piracy in order to survive in the Celestial Dragons' world. This group, with their ability to manipulate earth and snake-like hair, inspires the myth of the Gorgon.

Four hundred years pass. The Celestial Dragons have long since established the World Government and the alliance of over 170 nations.

Most of the remaining Lunarians have interbred with humans, and many of their traits have vanished; their descendants do not have wings nor the ability to ignite their bodies. However, they do retain their intelligence and proficiency for technology. In the North Blue, Germa, the Kingdom of Science, is formed from a group of these descendants, and with their technological prowess, the entirety of North Blue is conquered under Germa's rule. However, their rule only lasts for 66 days before they are defeated by the Marines, the military force of the World Government. Germa is annexed by the World Government, stripped of their land and forced to become a migrant nation on the backs of giant sea snails, a mercy only afforded by their own ingenuity. Four hundred years later, Germa's continued research eventually leads to genetic modification, and their current leader, Vinsmoke Judge, inadvertently reawakens the ability of Ignition within his son, Sanji.

In Paradise, on the frozen island of Karakuri, a number of geniuses arise from the Lunarian gene pool, including Tsukimi and Vegapunk. Tsukimi unknowingly recreates the designs of the Automata that the Lunarians had created with the Sky People over a millennia ago and spends his free time relaxing with his new friends while gazing at the moon, perhaps a genetic memory of times long past. Vegapunk, meanwhile, continues to push science forward, creating incredible and impractical inventions one after another. It is no wonder then that one day he would meet a kindred spirit in his long distant relative, Judge, and form the scientific super group MADS with fellow intellectuals Caesar Clown and the man who would later come to be known as Queen. Naturally, the World Government would not allow a group of pseudo-Lunarians to continue to create "dangerous weapons" and once again dissolved their unity while taking the spoils for themselves. In this case, they took the most valuable mind, Vegapunk, and put him to work advancing technology in their favor.

In Wano, where a more significant population of Lunarians survived, their wings and flames continued to be passed down through the Tenguyama line. However, a branch family of black-winged Lunarians reject their subservience to the Kozuki and flee the country, despite having closed its borders. Eventually, one of their descendants would return to Wano as a member of the Beast Pirates bearing the name King.

Back in North Blue, one group of Lunarians has managed to keep their wings, but has stayed in hiding for the past several centuries to avoid drawing attention. One Lunarian named Monet decides to venture out into the world and arrives on a certain island where she meets a young, bespectacled girl named Happy (Grand Monet Theory ch.1.13 and ch.3.03). Monet teaches Happy about the Lunarians, their culture, and their history (save for certain information from the Void Century which has become lost to them from their time in hiding), inspiring Happy to learn everything she could about birds and the moon, hoping to one day see the Lunarian homeland and revive their race.

Unfortunately, Monet catches the attention of the descendants of the rogue Reptilians, the Medusa Pirates led by the snake-haired Medusa, who jumps at the opportunity to personally kill a Lunarian. The Medusa Pirates raid Happy's island, killing Monet and enslaving Happy and her family, branding her with their Jolly Roger. Happy and her little sister, whom she calls Sugar, live within this unfortunate environment until the former Celestial Dragon, Donquixote Doflamingo, arrives on their island clad in feathers like a Lunarian and slays the Reptilians. Happy, seeing that she has been saved by a man in feathers, becomes infatuated and requests that he take her and Sugar with him. He agrees, but tells her to abandon her name and choose codenames for her and her sister. Naturally, she continues to refer to her sister as Sugar and chooses the name Monet for herself.

While under Doflamingo's employ, the woman now known as Monet becomes the secretary of Caesar Clown, former member of MADS, and becomes the caretaker to a number of children being experimented on by Caesar. After the Straw Hat Pirates free the children while plotting to overthrow Doflamingo, Monet narrowly escapes death and chooses to follow the children that are being taken to Vegapunk for rehabilitation from Caesar's experiments. Little does she know that Vegapunk has the technology necessary to help her achieve of her dream of reviving the Lunarian race and reaching their homeland of the moon.

Meanwhile, the D. clan has spread their name quite far, with individuals bearing the name cropping up in each sea, but the significance of the name has been long since forgotten, nothing more than a scary story to the children of the Celestial Dragons. One D., however, Monkey D. Garp, is assigned to protect a particular Celestial Dragon despite his distaste for them. This Celestial Dragon does not view herself as a god like the rest, however, and Garp manages to fall in love with her. The two have a child together, Monkey D. Dragon, named for his status as a Celestial Dragon, though like Garp and the D. of old, he grows to feel disdain for the Celestial Dragons. In time, his own son, Monkey D. Luffy, also comes to be an enemy to the Celestial Dragons, and even ventures on a quest to find the treasure that Nika left behind.

While training with Silvers Rayleigh, the second-in-command to the previous man to find One Piece, Gol D. Roger, Luffy learns the ability to ignite his body, a symbol of his inherited will of those who once opposed the Celestial Dragons and fought to bring about the Dawn of the World.

Final Thoughts

Naturally, there are tons of puzzle pieces that I've left out. I can't think of how Zunesha's punishment to walk the ocean for eternity (ch.821) is related to the Kozuki clan, I don't know for sure what the Voice of All Things is or how the ability relates to Nika, and I don't know the identity of Mary Geois' national treasure (ch.761), or whether it's related to the giant straw hat kept frozen in a dungeon within Pangaea Castle (ch.906).

However, I'm not really too worried about them for one simple reason: this theory isn't actually about the Void Century, it's about the Lunarians. I wasn't trying to solve the events of the True History or Im's identity or any of that, that's more for Artur's True History mega-theory series or Ohara's Best One Piece Theories You'll Ever Watch, I only really ended up on those topics as a natural conclusion to digging into the Lunarians' past.

At the time of this writing, Artur's True History series hasn't started yet, so I can only hope that he's come to similar conclusions to me, but if not, maybe he'll see this and be inspired to add some of my ideas into his. That'd be cool. I just hope he doesn't think any of my ideas are stupid or point out that I missed some crucial detail that makes the whole thing fall apart...

Anyway! As usual, I fully expect a lot of the finer details to be wrong or incomplete, but with how well all of these pieces seem to fit together, I'm confident that I've at least gotten the basic gist. If nothing else, my faith in my Grand Monet Theory has been greatly bolstered by how well the ideas presented by the Lunarians fit in with what I've said in the past, and I'm extremely excited to see where the story goes from here.

Even if I'm wrong about all of it, I had a blast writing this. I'm always glad to have the opportunity to do a deep dive into One Piece, and I'm grateful that Oda keeps providing me with the inspiration that I need to do so. I don't know how many more chances I'll get to do something like this now that the series is approaching its climactic arc and we're most likely going to start getting answers, but honestly? If this is the last theory I get to write for One Piece, I think I'd be satisfied with that. I got to cover so many topics and revisit my magnum opus, and I feel like I got a deeper understanding of the series because of it. At the very least, I can't envision myself getting to write a theory of this size again.

I don't know if I'll be aware of it when the final theory comes, so just in case, I'll say what I have to say now. I'll still be around reading all of your comments and your theories, interacting with you all as best I can, so I won't say goodbye.

Instead, I'll say this: thank you. I've had disagreements with many of you, I've been encouraged by more of you, and all the while I've had fun. I've seen my work make people smile, and I've had people defend my work when others approached me in bad faith. Ever since the Oro Jackson days, my fellow fans have made me feel so loved, and I hope that when I've been able to engage with your works I was able to help you feel the same. Someday, and possibly someday soon, the One Piece will be found, and our journey will come to an end, but I know I'll be able to walk away with every laugh and every tear held in my heart as a reminder of all of you.

To all of my crewmates who made this a fantastic journey: I love you. Thank you for reading.

-Tokiro Oumaga
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