Theory A Man of God - The Urouge and Enel Connection

Hello, everyone!

Sometime ago I posted a poll asking what subtheories from my Grand Monet Theory readers wanted me to either go into more detail on or talk about separately so it wouldn't be lost in the chaos. Far and away the one that people were most interested in across two different forums was my theory that Enel is a major player in Urouge's backstory.

Before I get into the details, I would like to address a little bit of a snag that my Monet Theory has suffered: Oda's statement that after Wano, One Piece will be entering its final arc. When I first heard that, I'll admit that I panicked a little. At a glance, it sounds like once Wano concludes, the final conflict with the World Government and/or Blackbeard will immediately begin, but let's consider that possibility for a moment. If we were to go straight there, that would imply that we're just heading straight to Laugh Tale to find the One Piece itself, skipping over one of the most highly anticipated and strongly built up arcs in the series: Elbaf. As it has been long established as the culmination of Usopp's character arc and potentially where the Straw Hats will meet the Red Hair Pirates, there is simply no way that Oda is going to skip or otherwise gloss over Elbaf. Even if it's a short arc, Elbaf will undoubtedly be an arc of its own, likely being the second to last before the final confrontations with Blackbeard, Akainu and Im. With that in mind, I think that the "final arc" that Oda mentioned will be more akin to what we commonly call Sagas, or the collection of island-based arcs tied together through an overarching antagonist or theme. I previously suggested that the remaining four or five years (approximately 200-250 chapters) of the story would be broken up into a Vegapunk Saga (spanning a space race to the moon and a Moon Arc), a Blackbeard Saga (spanning the journey to Elbaf, the reunion with Shanks and the race to Laugh Tale) and an Akainu Saga (meeting with the Revolutionaries, the final conflict with the World Government, and the systematic realization of all of the Straw Hats' dreams), but with Oda's statement in mind, I believe that all of the remainder of the story will be one single Laugh Tale Saga. However, I do not think that this discounts the possibility of any of the arcs I've suggested, including the Moon Arc.

Setting aside my obvious bias as the author of said theory and my implacable desire for Monet to return, I do have other reasons for believing that the Moon Arc is still both viable and worth dedicating however many of our few remaining chapters to. Quite simply, because we are now barreling towards the endgame, we will undoubtedly start seeing the loose ends begin to be tied up. One such loose end that we've all been anticipating for quite a long time now is the abandoned city of Birka that Enel found on the moon.

While we know that the Sky People left the moon because of a lack of resources, there are still many questions surrounding Birka. How did a civilization of humans or human-like creatures end up on the moon in the first place? They were clearly an advanced civilization, since they were able to create artificially intelligent robots, the Automata, so were they humans that migrated to the moon? If so, why? What resources are still on the moon that would motivate the alien Space Pirates to mine on it? Are those resources the reason that the Sky People left the Automata dormant on the moon? Do those resources have anything to do with the reverence of Vearth? When the Sky People came to Earth, how did one of their groups, the Shandians, end up in the Blue Sea while the Skypieans and Birkans ended up in the White Sea? How did Colonel Spacey, clearly an Automata, end up on Earth? What relationship did the Shandians have with the Ancient Kingdom and the Kozuki Clan that they ended up closely guarding a Poneglyph? Does the presence of civilization on the moon have any bearing on the spacesuit-like design of the Celestial Dragons' uniform?

How important these questions are to the overall story is debatable, but they all seem to be tied together to the greater mysteries of One Piece's lore, and a trip to the moon would likely be the best way to elucidate all of those topics. I'm not going to revisit the reasons I think that the crew will be going specifically or how I think they'll get there, as that's not wholly relevant to this theory; all you need to know before I get into the theory itself is that there is a strong lore reason to believe that a Moon Arc would be important enough to warrant perhaps up to 50 out of our remaining 200 chapters.

But how does Urouge tie into this? He's barely been in the story thus far, with no indication of coming back into it anytime soon. Though we haven't really learned much about Apoo or Hawkins' backstories yet, they at least are in a position for us to get better acquainted with where we are now in Wano, leaving Urouge as the only Supernova that we know effectively nothing about.

Or so it would seem.

We know four major pieces of information about Urouge, and that might actually be all we need:
  1. He is one of the Sky People
  2. While he currently has the wings of a Birkan, he once had the wings and antennae-like hairstyle of a Skypiean
  3. He is a religious man
  4. Upon becoming a pirate, he dubbed his crew the Fallen Monk Pirates
Of these, the most interesting is certainly point number 2: the conversion of Urouge's wings from one group's style to another.

Note how as a child his wings had feathers flaring outward, while as an adult Urouge's wings have an inverted-U shape. Aside from this being strong evidence that the wings of the Sky People are accessories rather than appendages, this implies that Urouge was born Skypiean only to change his allegiance to Birka at some point. What sort of relationship the Skypieans had with Birka prior to its destruction by Enel is unclear, but up to this point we have never seen any of the Sky People swap which group's wings they sport, only the complete removal (Gan Fall) or replacement (Enel) of their wings with other accessories, so we can conjecture that it is a gesture of some significance. Whether it's an act of treason, a rejection of one culture for the other, a mark of devotion, or simply proof of citizenship, I can't imagine that Urouge would have bothered if it didn't mean something at least to him.

Urouge's status as a monk may give us insight to that as well, though. Save for the odd nun, cross or cult here and there, religion tends not to come up too often in One Piece. The most major exception to this, though, would be God's Army in Skypiea's Upper Yard. Though "God" in this case refers more to a leader than a literal deity, it is worth noting that the main forces serving under God are referred to as priests and monks, suggesting that there is some level of religious faith put into the governing bodies of Skypiea. Bearing in mind that Urouge is a monk from Skypiea, the clothes obscured under his black robes look remarkably similar to the uniform of God's Army.

Obviously Urouge's is much more tattered, presumably not having seen a good tailor since he descended to the Blue Sea, but given that he is a monk of Skypiea and Skypiea only seems to have one religious organization, it's hard to imagine that he belonged to any group other than God's Army even if the uniform isn't an exact visual match.

On the subject of Urouge's robes, the black robes atop the white weave a much more interesting tale. Given that he is covering up the uniform of his potentially previous organization, it's rather telling that he is obscuring said uniform under its opposite color. To me, this sends a very clear message that he is no longer affiliated with said group, and their separation was likely not on good terms. Given that he seems to have gone on to form his own religious order, it's possible that he left of his own accord due to a difference in religious doctrine, creating a schism in the Skypiean faith, but that doesn't feel quite right to me. Remember, his crew is called the Fallen Monk Pirates. That doesn't sound much to me like the name of a religious order that walked away because of a disagreement. That name gives the impression that they were cast out by force, excommunicated, and have "fallen" in much the same way that the demons of the Abrahamic religions led by Lucifer fell after revolting against God.

Of course, "Fallen Monk" is the Viz translation, so we can't use that as our sole basis for understanding Oda's intention. Instead, let's look to the Japanese name: the Hakaisou (破戒僧) Pirates. Hakaisou refers to a sinful, depraved or disgraced priest or monk, an archetype often depicted drinking, gambling, or fornicating. While this could simply refer to the fact that Urouge engages in all of those activities (drinking and fornication specifically being listed as some of his favorite hobbies), that wouldn't go very far in developing his character or making him particularly endearing to the audience. Instead, I think in Urouge's case it leans more to the disgraced aspect than the depraved. I believe that Urouge did in fact have a difference of opinion with God's Army, but less on the Army's doctrine and more on their actions.

Let's look at what we know again, and this time contextualize it:

Urouge was born in Skypiea, wherein his hair was styled in the classic antennae style and he was given the flared-style Skypiean wings. At some point, he decided he wanted to join the Divine Squad (Gan Fall's equivalent of God's Army under Enel), and either did so for some time before traveling to Birka or ended up in Birka without ever fulfilling that dream. Either way, Urouge somehow ended up in Birka, possibly because his family needed to immigrate there or because he was sent there on an assignment as a member of the Divine Squad. While in Birka, Urouge meets Birka's God (possibly Enel, possibly someone else) and joins God's Army, adopting the rounded-style Birkan wings and shaving his head, possibly having become disillusioned with the Divine Squad through some event. By age 39, eight years prior to the current story, Urouge is likely recruited as one of Enel's followers, possibly one of his most zealous and taking the idea that he is a God as literally as Enel himself does. This belief allows him to keep following Enel up to and possibly through his destruction of Birka and subsequent assault on Upper Yard in Skypiea. Whether Birka or Upper Yard was what shook Urouge's faith isn't too important; all that matters is that the atrocities that Urouge witnessed and likely was complicit in weighed heavily on him, challenging his previously absolute faith in Enel and causing a confrontation between the two. Of course, Enel does not take kindly to traitors or dissenters, but for some reason decided not to simply rain God's Judgment upon him. Instead, he chose a potentially crueler fate for Urouge: excommunication.

Much as Enel pushed Gan Fall from God's Shrine, he likely pushed Urouge from the imperiocumulus itself, expecting him to either drown in the Blue Sea because of his Devil Fruit, be crushed against the Vearth below, or be forced to wander an unknown world if he was unfortunate enough to survive. As we know, Urouge's fate was the latter. This could have been because of his Devil Fruit's ability to convert damage into power, but there is precedent for Sky People surviving that kind of fall, as seen with Gedatsu falling to Ukkari Hot-Spring Island.

The exact circumstances that follow could have happened any number of ways, but I imagine that Urouge fell to an island in Paradise and was witnessed by one or more of that island's citizens. These citizens, having seen a winged man fall from the sky, naturally concluded that they have just witnessed the descent of an angel (similarly to the cult that got Brook when they were trying to summon Satan) and decide to put their faith in him. His own faith shattered, Urouge used these people's misplaced faith in him to garner earthly pleasures, easing his body and soul with drink and sex. Eventually, though, Urouge saw opportunity in these people: the start of his own, legitimate religion, which he would go out to see to evangelize. Seeing as this new religious sect had no qualms with human depravity, it was only natural that they would be labeled a pirate crew, so Urouge chose to lean into it: he dubbed his new order the Fallen Monk Pirates.

If we assume all of this to be true, wouldn't it stand to reason that the exploration of Urouge's past would involve Enel? Naturally, Enel could descend back to Earth, but I can't think of a good reason he would leave the Fairy Vearth he has so longed for. Instead, I think that Luffy's desire to go on the grandest of adventures is perfectly likely to lead him to the moon to meet Enel again. This would then give us reason to learn the answers to all of the other questions surrounding the moon, the Sky People, and other mysteries linking them to the Void Century.

But why would Urouge care to go to the moon? It's not like he knows that Enel is up there, so even if he happened to be present when Luffy is given the ability to fly to the moon, what possible motivation would he have to?

Because he's one of the Sky People, of course.

Though only Enel has ever acknowledged the legend of Fairy Vearth, it stands to reason that other Sky People would be aware of it, especially if they were acquainted with Enel. What Sky Person could hear that they had the chance to go to a place of endless Vearth and pass up the opportunity? Look back up at the picture of Urouge as a child. What do you see in his hand? That looks to me like a fairly large rock: a chunk of Vearth. Even now, as Urouge roams the seas drinking and making love to who knows how many people, there is one more hobby of his that I haven't mentioned: mountain climbing. Now, this could refer to his ability to reach Sky Islands, as it is implied that the safest method, "the Summit of High West," is a mountain, but I think this hobby may well come from an interest in exploring the greatest collections of Vearth available.

Urouge would also be the perfect perspective character for learning about the origins of the Sky People, as aside from Enel, he would be the only Sky Person present for the Moon Arc, and we already know that Enel does not care much for history. We could learn the true meaning in the Sky Peoples' reverence of Vearth, which could serve as a turning point in Urouge's development, potentially restoring his faith or giving him a new purpose in life. This new purpose may well be what convinces him to become an ally to Luffy, completing not only Luffy's string of alliances with the Supernovas, but also bringing a representative of the Sky People to the final battle to come.

Based on the religious themed society of Skypiea, we can assume that Urouge, a religious Sky Person, was a servant to one of Skypiea's Gods. Because he once had the characteristics of a Skypiean but currently has those of a Birkan, we can assume he either left or betrayed Skypiea to ally himself with Birka, possibly even Enel. Because Urouge is referred to as a Fallen Monk and he wears the tattered and blacked-out robes of God's Army, he likely turned against Enel because of either the destruction of Burka or coup on Upper Yard. In retaliation, Enel threw Urouge down to the Blue Sea, where Urouge founded his own schism religion based on the pursuit of pleasure rather than discipline through abstinence, which eventually culminated in a pirate crew, the Fallen Monk Pirates. Because of his upbringing to value Vearth, Urouge will likely be present when Luffy is given the opportunity to fly to the moon and will of course ask to be taken along. Upon reaching the moon, Urouge's conflict with Enel is reignited, and through their interactions we learn of Urouge's past and may even get more development for Enel himself. Eventually, Urouge and the crew come to learn the truth of why the Sky People came to Earth, why they splintered into three tribes, and what "Vearth" really is. These revelations solidify Urouge's status as an ally to Luffy, bringing all of the Supernovas and a representative of each race into the greater Straw Hat alliance.

Of course, many of these details could easily go countless other ways, as always with these theories, but in my opinion, a connection between Enel and Urouge would be the perfect way to not only bring both of them back into the story, but also to integrate the moon, the Space Pirates, and the Sky People as a whole into the main lore and conflict of the One Piece world without having them be footnotes. Because these will likely be integral to the plot, I see no reason that even as much as a year of our remaining four could not reasonably be dedicated to this storyline.

Until next time.

-Tokiro Oumaga
Beautiful Theory! Amazing reading material! Would really appreciate a moon arc!
I'm not sure how well known he is in the community, but this one youtuber, Mr. Morj, recently mentioned that he believes that the Straw Hats are going to go to the moon by the end of the story (even if it's just as a "to-be-continued" style epilogue), and honestly, that guy's so good at predicting the plot from a writing perspective that it made me feel like I'm really onto something

Not that I don't have faith in my own theories, just that it feels less like I'm taking a shot in the dark when people whose opinion I put stock in have similar ideas to me
Were the gods astronauts?

The Tenryubito, the D. clan, the sky tribes, Enel, the space pirates and the minks all seem to be connected somehow to the moon.

I am also excited to see Morj's theories about the moon.

I am curious to see how Oda will deal with everyhing until the end of the manga.