New official One Piece information coming from Eiichiro Oda himself seems to confirm the explosive theory that Shanks is actually a Celestial Dragon.
Warning: contains spoilers for One Piece Volume 4 billion
One of the most explosive theories in One Piece, regarding Red-Haired Shanks, was just confirmed. Many fans believed that Shanks is actually a descendant of the Celestial Dragons, the cruel nobles who rule the One Piece world, and new information from series author Eiichiro Oda seems to confirm this is the truth. note: Bullet Train (2022) Ganzer Film
Shanks’ past is shrouded in mystery, outside the fact that as a kid he was an apprentice on the ship of the legendary Pirate King Gol D. Roger. Fans started theorizing about Shanks’ origin when, in chapter 907, he appears in Marijoa in front of the Five Elders, the highest authorities of the World Government, requesting to talk about “a certain pirate.” Marijoa is the most sacred ground of the World Government, it should be an impenetrable fortress, and the Five Elders are the highest authorities of an organization that wants to eradicate all pirates. Not only is Shanks – one of the Yonko, the Four Emperors – not stopped in any way, but one of the Elders also says: “We only made time to talk because it was you.” This would make sense only if Shanks was a Celestial Dragon by lineage, hence receiving a privileged treatment that would be unthinkable for any other pirate. note: One Piece Film Red (2022) Ganzer Film
The series did not elaborate on this further, until the recent One Piece Volume 4 billion, a special booklet distributed to attendees of the movie One Piece Film: Red, written by Eiichiro Oda himself. The volume explains that Shanks was found as a 1-year-old boy by Gol D. Roger and his crew, hidden in a treasure chest pillaged after their battle in God Valley. This, together with a line from the movie (whose story is canon for the series), in which the Five Elders say that Shanks belongs to the “Fearland Family”, seems to confirm that Shanks is, in fact, a descendant of the Celestial Dragons, the all-powerful families who hold absolute authority over the world. note: DC League of Super-Pets (2022) Ganzer Film
The reason why the still-mysterious “God Valley Incident” is so important is that the manga explained that it was an attack on the Celestial Dragons by the powerful crew of the Rocks Pirates, who were trying to upset the balance of the world. On that occasion, Roger allied with the Marine Garp, and they defeated the Rocks, saving the Celestial Dragons and their slaves who were present. If Shanks was found hidden in a treasure chest, it could mean that his family tried to hide him from the dangerous Rocks, and he accidentally ended up on Roger’s ship, which would shape Shanks’ life forever.
There is also a chance that Shanks is actually the son of the Celestial Dragons’ slaves, or of someone else who was in God Valley, but this would not explain his interaction with the Five Elders, nor why they know about his family name. This would not be the first time that a One Piece fan theory is confirmed, because Eiichiro Oda is a master at foreshadowing and leaving the right clues for fans to pick up. While it is unusual to reveal such important information outside the manga, Shanks’ true nature as a Celestial Dragon will surely have a big impact on One Piece and its story. note: Hatching (2022) Ganzer Film