Dragon Ball fans have been arguing over the content of Dragon Ball GT in relation to the rest of the series for as long as the fandom has been a thing, but although the series officially takes place outside of the Dragon Ball canon there are a few maneuvers that could be done in order to make GT proper canon without too much of a hassle.
Dragon Ball Super introduced the idea of multiple universes, Gods of Destruction, and unparalleled levels of power, so fans of Dragon Ball GT assumed it was another nail in the coffin for the series. But Dragon Ball Super could actually end in a way that could retcon the events of Dragon Ball GT and make them fit within the series.
SLIDE 1/8 – WHY BRING UP DRAGON BALL GT?
Dragon Ball GT is often seen as the black sheep of the Dragon Ball franchise as this was a project that was continued by Toei Animation without the source material or involvement of original series creator Akira Toriyama. But like the Dragon Ball Z line of films, the original material in Dragon Ball GT indeed has its fans and even introduced ideas that have lasted long into how the series is seen in the West.
Seeing how prevalent it still is in Super Dragon Ball Heroes (even showing animated clips of an alternate universe SSJ4 Goku (Goku Xeno, to be exact) fighting Super Saiyan Blue Goku, GT had several ideas with the type of iconography that many fans would love to hear “actually happened.” Super Saiyan 4 Goku is still an original idea that had yet to be topped in terms of execution in its transformation until Ultra Instinct.
In order for Dragon Ball GT‘s canon status to stand a chance, Universe 7 must lose the Tournament of Power. Although GT can just be added to the series properly by stating it’s one of the many alternate universes or timelines that exist in the series already, the more elaborate way to introduce the events of the series properly would be for Goku to lose against Jiren and have Universe 7 be erased.
…And the brought back by Jiren using the Super Dragon Balls. Jiren, who still wants to fight, revives Goku and Universe 7 in order to finish their bout. Because although the two would be able to fight as much as they could they are still trapped within the confines of the Tournament of Power.
This works in the vice versa way, as well, with Goku reviving all the other Universes just to fight Jiren again or Jiren reviving Goku feeling unsatisfied with his victory.
Dragon Ball Super has been put in a strange place within the Dragon Ball canon as it takes place in the ten years between the end of the Majin Buu arc and the end of the final World Tournament where Goku decides to train the reincarnation of Majin Buu. While this frees up a lot of space for telling new stories within Akira Toriyama’s original vision, it still leads to many canon inconsistencies and headaches as it looks the series within a certain endgoal.
The ending of Super will not have too much of an effect on GT, since the series takes place five years after the End of Z. So the End of Z is still very much in tact as Super’s ending could possibly not even lead to the end of Z either. There’s no telling that the series will definitively end at the designated story point.
The same with End of Z, Dragon Ball Super is going to need to explain what Goku does with this godly amount of power after the Tournament of Power. There was an outstanding theory that purported that Goku could in a way lose the Tournament of Power, be offered a God of Destruction position for Universe 7 (much like Toppo) in recognition of his strength.
Becoming a God of Destruction, or at least a godly being that cannot interact with humanity as much would give Goku a reasonable ending. Seeing Goku reach Ultra Instinct, he reaches an almost Buddha like state of meditation and clear thought. Once he surpassed this limit, Goku has since lost his place as a regular warrior.
Goku has finally reached a clear power ceiling…that still allows room for the power reset that occurs for him at the beginning of Dragon Ball GT.
Not only could Dragon Ball Super end in a way that would make End of Z make more sense, as Goku reaches his peak of power so he decides to focus on others with huge potential, it could end in a way that also lines up with Dragon Ball GT’s ending. In Dragon Ball GT, the series ends where a future descendant of Goku and Vegeta fight in the World Martial Arts Tournament.
An elderly Pan spots Goku in the crowd, but he slips out of her sight before she can speak to him. Looking exactly the same as he did after the End of Z (despite even Vegeta showing signs of aging), could be explained by Goku becoming a God of Destruction as well.
Toppo transforming during the tournament showed that activating the godly transformation also gives the user a peak physically conditioned body. It would make sense for Goku to look like he’s in his prime if he’s become a non-mortal.
Like Broly made an impression on fans of the series, there are villains in Dragon Ball GT that stand out enough to make a huge impact on the series canon should they be allowed in. Super Android 17 still has a way to exist, without Dr. Gero needing to create a copy of the Android in Hell. Since Android 17 has lost his life in the series canon, this could transition to a villainous turn years later and add another emotional layer on top of that arc’s events.
The Shadow Dragons are the other made villain group that shook Dragon Ball fans. By introducing a crack into the series’ macguffin, the Shadow Dragons made Goku take a hard look on the damage he’s caused on the Universe around him. The Dragon Balls becoming tainted could definitely serve as a final villain for the series’ proper timeline.
Although GT is not seen as fondly by fans as other entries in the series, much of its importance is what it teaches Goku. Like Dragon Ball Z, Goku learns that his actions have consequences. Wrecking things as a child had one of his enemies come back to take him by surprise, other ghosts of his past come to haunt his present, and he learns that he just can’t abuse the Dragon Balls to solve every one of his problems.
It might not seem it at the outset, but Dragon Ball GT does have an introspective nature serving as a great follow up to the original series. Once it gets passed its initial foibles, GT becomes a Goku focused series once again, but instead challenges his preconceived notions about how he interacted with the world.
It’s a reflection of how frightening the character could be to strangers that Super is sorely lacking.
Warning! Spoilers For Episode 131 of Dragon Ball Super below!
The title for Episode 131 is “A Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell Goku! Until the Day We Meet Again!!” and eagle eyed fans have spotted that the title is a reference to the final episode of Dragon Ball GT, which was titled “Farewell Goku…Until We Meet Again” and previously served as the series finale.
Because of this, the idea of Dragon Ball GT being retconned into the series canon does not sound too far off. It could be done, as Dragon Ball has created all sorts of loop holes for its lore, but whether or not the series does become canon there is one important thread it carries over to the finale to Super.
Rather than match Z’s definitive end, Super is instead invoking GT‘s end of hoping for future adventures. Dragon Ball GT being some of those events would be fun for fans of the series for sure, and could still have a chance of becoming canon in the future.