I think I've said it before but… I always assumed this particular flashback would be when Luffy's crew was on the verge of getting One Piece. Stop just short of them seeing the treasure, and then do this backstory to make it a dramatic wait and add more emotion and punch to it. That's still possible, especially since Oda is clearly going to gloss over the actual OP part, but it is a little weird.
This chapter more than any before it has kind of set in the fact that the story is in fact, nearing its end. It still has years to go, I don't for a moment believe Oda's 5 year prediction... but I'm starting to think 8 or so (30th anniversary) might actually be likely and not just the rushed pace to get there.
2027 here we come. 30-32 more volumes to get it to 125? I've long though 120 volumes sounded about right but pushed that guess back some after Big Mom's arc ran for two years. I've also assumed if he went a year or two past that anniversary he'd be begged to stretch it to 35 and he'd do so with lots of breaks and a long final battle and finale... but a few more chapters like this one then.... he might finish by the 30th.
But no way he does it in five unless he really skimps on all the battle stuff.
Thats amazing, it has to be something other than the usual “im gonna be the pirate king”, right?
Yeah, it's been speculated since 585 that Luffy had to have said something different, otherwise there was no need to cut away. Lots of people say "I want to be pirate king", Luffy's dream is more special than that.
And now that we're seeing its exactly Roger, the title didn't exist then, so it MUST be something different.