The end of One Piece is near, no matter how badly fans may want otherwise. Mangaka Eichiro Oda recently confirmed his goal to end his legendary manga in around three years. That means that the final battle for the fabled treasure that seems to hold all the answers to the mysteries of the world will soon be upon us. On one side, we have Monkey D. Luffy, the newest Yonko and the living embodiment of fun and freedom. On the other side, we have Blackbeard, the man who slew Whitebeard and took his powers for his own. For many fans, it seemed as though Blackbeard would be Luffy’s last and greatest challenge to claiming the One Piece.
Then, we learned about Rocks D. Xebec, the greatest enemy the Pirate King Gol D. Roger ever faced. Now, fans speculate that Xebec, not Blackbeard or the World Government, will be Luffy’s final opponent. That is something that I strongly think would not be a good idea.
Rocks D. Xebec, Gol D. Roger’s Biggest Enemy
Firstly, just who is Rocks D. Xebec? According to the Marines from Garp and Sengoku’s generation, Rocks was the most feared pirate in the world before the rise of Gol D. Roger. A vicious and bloodthirsty man, Rocks sought nothing less than world domination. To that end, he delved into secrets the World Government tried to suppress. In addition, he assembled a crew of powerful pirates that wreaked havoc on a global scale. Among them were three of the future Yonko: Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido. Rocks was considered to Roger’s first and greatest enemy.
Thirty years before the present day, the Rocks Pirates launched their most ambitious attack yet. On the island called God Island, they attacked the Celestial Dragons. However, they were beaten by an unlikely team up of Roger and Monkey D. Garp. After that, God Island vanished from all records, and Xebec was declared dead by the World Government.
Or is he?
The Fan Theories About Rocks Being Alive
There are rumors and theories going around the fandom that Rocks D. Xebec didn’t die at God Valley. Some fans think he might still be alive in some form, with theories ranging from being the true mastermind behind the World Government to some kind of connection to Blackbeard. Regardless, these fans are convinced that Rocks might be the final challenge Luffy must face to become Pirate King.
I’m sorry, but no. Just, no.
Blackbeard Needs to be the Final Opponent Luffy Fights
So, I will acknowledge that, regardless of his status in the present day, Rocks has an important role to play in the final stretch of the series. Oda never introduces a character or concept without planning on it playing a part down the line. I can even admit that Blackbeard might have some connection to the Captain of the Rocks pirates. However, I do not think that Rocks will be the final big bad of the series. That honor falls to the World Government and, more importantly, Blackbeard himself.
If you read my review of where the top contenders for the One Piece stand, you should know my rationale for Blackbeard.
• He and Luffy both became Pirate Captains around the same time
• Both carry the Will of D.
• Blackbeard has a Devil Fruit that cancels out other Devil Fruits.
• Both believe in freedom and fate, but have very different ideas on what that means
• Blackbeard was responsible for the events that led to Ace and Whitebeard’s deaths.
In other words, Oda has been building Blackbeard up from the start to be Luffy’s antithesis. Thus, it makes sense that Blackbeard, not Rocks, be the final opponent that Luffy must face.
My Theory: Blackbeard is the Rocks of Luffy’s Generation
While I won’t deny that Rocks is important for that finale, I believe that it won’t be Rocks himself that will play a role. Rather, it will be his will and legacy that he left behind. Oda has repeatedly talked about the idea of inherited will being passed on. In this case, what if Blackbeard chose to inherit Rocks’ will and desire to conquer all? In other words, what if Blackbeard intends to do what Rocks couldn’t and conquer the world?
We don’t know what Blackbeard’s endgame might be, but given how he’s gathering Devil Fruit powers, world domination isn’t out of the question. One thing’s for sure, though. When the final clash between Luffy and Blackbeard comes, they’ll talk about it for years.