What if Oda is preparing for a big tragedy towards the end of Wano that both the Strawhats and their close allies outside of Wano (Sabo, Vivi, Hancock, etc) will experience now that 2 Yonko have been taken down in the New World?
Wano shares similarities and parallels to Water 7 Saga arcs like Enies Lobby and Post-Enies Lobby. Enies Lobby is the pre-timeskip arc that had the Strawhats gain the most new power-ups they’ve ever gotten in one arc so that they could overcome beating the strongest opponents they’ve ever faced at the time.
In the Post-Enies Lobby Arc, we had a grand party, new Strawhats, etc. Towards the end of Post-Enies Lobby, a tragedy happened outside of Enies Lobby with Ace being beaten by Blackbeard and taken to Impel down.
Similarly, Wano is the post-time skip arc that had most of the Strawhats, especially the Monster Trio, gain the most powerups they’ve ever gotten in one arc so that they could overcome beating the strongest opponents they’ve ever faced and to reach the level of an emperor-tier crew.
In Post Wano, we’ll have a grand party, possible new Strawhats, etc. Towards the end of Post Wano though, I think there will be a tragedy involving the people outside of Wano that are close to the Strawhats, similar to the events of Post Enies Lobby.
But since this arc was the darkest and most oppressed arc for the citizens in all of One Piece history, as well as the accumulation of a huge battle against 2 Yonko after so much build up, I personally think both the Strawhats and their close allies outside of Wano (Sabo, Vivi, Hancock, etc) will experience a big tragedy as soon as Wano ends.
I just think that there does need to be a big tragedy in the New World for the Strawhats to experience eventually. But I think that a tragedy happening before Wano country ends, with the expectation that the citizens and alliance can survive the tragedy, is impossible at this point. Given how broken the citizen’s spirits/willpower are and since they aren’t powerful characters, if they receive news that the people who attempted to fight against Kaido and Orochi lost, then the citizens would all commit suicide at that point.
This is the same arc that Oda introduced the concept of citizens committing suicide, that is just how much suffering they have experienced and how dark the arc is. That’s why I think it would be better for a tragedy to happen anytime after Kaido and Big Mom’s defeat. If there are citizens involved in a tragedy though, I think it would be best to choose an arc that hasn’t had as much oppression and loss of hope as much as Wano had.
I don’t recall there being internal conflicts in Elbaf or if they just have strong giants there, so islands like Elbaf with citizens that have enough spirit/willpower to bounce back and are strong enough to do so is a more realistic choice for a tragedy happening than Wano.
Since the focus of the story will shift back to the Strawhats towards the end of Wano, I think it would be a lot more impactful for the Strawhats to achieve this milestone of beating these Yonko crews after so much buildup, only for them and their close allies outside of Wano getting captured or kidnapped by the World government, Admirals, Blackbeard, etc.
These types of events could be what happen at the end of the Wano arc as early as next chapter (I highly doubt the arc is ending next chapter because of unresolved plot threads even though this recent chapter felt ominous to me) or during the ending of the Post Wano arc after we’ve celebrated the defeat of Kaido and Big Mom.
Theory by 1abfree (https://www.reddit.com/user/1abfree)