An Uncertain Future?
It’s an interesting editorial/narrative choice to have Luffy’s aged-up likeness here specifically addressed as, ‘Luffy of a certain future’. This is, no doubt, a result of the now-famous SBS series where Odacchi draws characters as the result of ‘normal’ and ‘something went wrong’ futures.
With age 70 Luffy appearing very close to his ‘something went wrong’ future (notice he’s not even saying something like, “MEAT!!!!”) how we see Luffy here doesn’t necessarily mean *that* will be the actual age 70 Luffy, 51 years from the current world time. One possible reason for this is, since Luffy hasn’t become the Pirate King yet, his future might carry him to that result if he doesn’t achieve his dream. However, once Luffy manages to achieve his dream, if Bonney were to age him to 70 again, it’s possible that he could age up into a 70-year-old meat-loving fiend.
However, I’d like to offer one other possible explanation. If Bonney’s fruit is a more powerful version of Ain’s Return Return Fruit from FILM Z (Ain could only turn back age by 12-year increments) and Shinobu’s Ripe Ripe Fruit (with her coincidental ability to age-up) if Bonney can age-up and age-down as a (likely) Paramecia-user, does this mean that her Awakening skills (if she actually is awakened) can influence the *direction* that an individual’s ‘future’ takes?!
As overpowered as that might seem, it fits with how a Paramecia affects the world around them by altering its properties. While I’m not suggesting Bonney could directly ‘create’ or ‘Death Note’ their future, she may be able to guide the direction it takes! This would mean some of the crazy SBS-only depictions could start popping up in the comic, similar to the recent gender-bender Law!
Weekly Shonen Jump #47 Ch.1064
One Piece Vol.89 SBS
The revelation of Vegapunk’s ‘catellites’ has shown us how different aspects of a single genius have been manipulated and split between different working bodies. It’s a fair guess that Oda envisioned this dream for himself as previously he stated that the Devil Fruit he’d like to eat the most would be the Flower Flower Fruit since it meant he could get more work done.
If you’re wondering where Oda got the idea for this team of scientists, you need simply look up...to the moon! In addition to being historical or mythical figures somewhat associated with their roles, Edison, Pythogras, and Atlas are all craters of the moon. Lilith in turn refers to the black or ‘dark moon’ concept in astrology. Meanwhile, Shaka comes from Shaka Nyorai the Japanese name for Siddhartha Gautama who is said to have been born, attained enlightenment, and passed away on the night of a full moon. This leaves York as the potential odd one out with a name that seems to be a play on the kanji 欲 ‘yoku’ or want/need/desire. While the connection to the moon is a bit difficult to find (and it’s possible Odacchi simply wanted to play with the name ‘York’ since the Chapter’s release was close to the ONE PIECE RED Times Square Takeover events in ‘New YORK’) I would suggest one possible connection to the moon, ‘yolk’. As in an egg yolk. What does an ideal yellow egg yolk resemble? Yep, a full moon. This even carries over to Japanese modern culture as the autumn ‘moon-viewing’ period sees a famous US-based burger chain selling limited-time-only burgers called, unsurprisingly, Moon-viewing Burgers. And how does one view the moon with a burger? The beef patty is topped off with a circular cooked egg, and in the center is a round yellow yolk, representing the moon.
That’s well and good but how about Vegapunk and the ‘main body’ which we currently know only as ‘Stella’? Here’s where things get really interesting!
In 2003, Toei Animation released Interstellar 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, a feature-length animated film set entirely to the tracks of world-famous helmeted DJ duo Daft Punk’s album ‘Disocovery’. Production for this animation began in 2000 and during this time it’s said that the pair came to Japan often (reportedly monthly) in order to check on the progress of production. As a One Piece fan, viewing the credits of the film reveals two striking names who were crucial to the film’s production: Shinji Shimizu and Hiroyuki Sakurada. Both of these gentlemen are long-time producers of One Piece with Shimizu essentially being the anime’s father. The same Shimizu for which Odacchi named the cocktail bar in his home ‘Shimizu Bar’ (By the way, a reference to both Shinji Shimizu and the famous bar have been hidden in FILM RED!) It’s possible that during this period, Odacchi learned about Daft Punk and in 2006, three years after the film’s release, we first heard the name ‘Vegapunk’ in the story.
Two years later, when Vegapunk’s name came up again on Sabaody Archipelago, (no coincidence I’m almost certain) we met Killer for the first time who sported a very Daft Punk-inspired helmet. Did the name Vegapunk come from Daft Punk? It seems very likely, especially considering the helmet Shaka can be seen wearing.
But what about Stella? Where did Stella’s name come from? Look no further than the name of Insterstellar 5555’s main character, the female lead vocalist, Stella.
Weekly Shonen Jump #45 Ch.1062
Weekly Shonen Jump #49 Ch.1065