So just some thoughts after reading Chapter 1040.
At the end of the Law/Kidd vs. Big Mom fight, we see Law use another (presumably) awakened ability, called "R Room":
This room seals any sound that any person inside the room makes, which is very similar to the ability that Corazon, the man who saved Law from both literal death, and a fate that may have been worse.
Now, thematically it's a really cool touch and actually a very cool application for what a "Room" can do (you can even argue that the way Cora uses the Nagi Nagi no Mi foreshadows it, if you try hard enough), but in practicality there's a lot of questions. How can Law suddenly magically use an ability that his Devil Fruit can't do? Is that even fair?
The answer to both of those questions is "I don't know", but we have seen this before with Luffy and his Red Hawk technique. The first time he uses it, we see that it's him "inheriting Ace's will!", and that's Oda's given explanation (not any friction-based justifications that the fanbase may have come up with afterwards). This is added to in Wano, when O-Tama mentions that Luffy reminds her of Ace after he uses the technique to protect her from Holdem. In a way, I would suggest that Law using R Room, roughly 40ish chapters after we find out his new goal is to find out the meaning of the "checkered fate" of the people who carry the D. initial - something that was initially taught to him by Corazon, is his "Red Hawk" moment. It's a physical manifestation of his memories of Corazon, and a signifier to us that he's inherited his will, in case we needed it.
The question now is, how far does this go? Is this just a thing that Devil Fruit users with dead big brother figures can do? Or does it have wider implications? I'm not going to go in full theory mode with this, but here's a couple of existing frameworks that this can tie in to:
- the concept of souls in One Piece - e.g., Sanji's "soul burning hotter than fire". Does inheriting someone's will have a direct effect the soul, to the extent that they can physically manifest homages to a particular person?
- Devil Fruits - more specifically the idea of holding multiple abilities (or in Luffy and Law's case, being able to cross over abilities from another fruit). Could the answer to how Blackbeard obtained a second Devil Fruit ability also be hidden somewhere in here, in a very twisted way?
- The Will of D. - The characters we've seen doing this are both D's. Is this a unique trait of D clan members? Could the D's somehow be connected to the creation of Devil Fruits?
Anyway, that's my big thought coming from this chapter. Let me know what you guys think!