Jiren is about to give the remaining Universe 7 fighters (Goku, Vegeta, Freeza) a massive challenge in battle -- one that will require major sacrifices (and maybe some unlikely alliances) for Goku to pull out the victory. However, after what we learned about Jiren's tragic origin
Here are seven ways Jiren's story can continue in the next Dragon Ball series.
If the last episode of Dragon Ball Super didn't make it clear: Jiren worships strength above all else. After the atrocities he's witnessed, Jiren wants the strength to defend against the worst beings in the universe, and that may lead to a Super Dragon Ball wish that establishes a new universal order with him at the top of it. Dragon Ball's next series would have to deal with a multiverse now governed by Jiren and his law of strength, which would put Goku and company at their greatest disadvantage yet.
Jiren seems to view the divine beings of the universe in a cynical way, judging by his reactions to notions like becoming a God of Destruction, or the nature of what the Zenos' Tournament of Power is (Universal Destruction). Jiren is also not the dramatic type, so elevating himself to the stature of a god or universal ruler may not be his speed; he might just wish for a pure power boost that will make him the strongest being in the multiverse. What the next Dragon Ball series chooses to do with that (protector or foe) is up to the creators.
Dragon Ball likes to take old foes and recast them as new allies, as illustrated by Universe 7's team, which includes the likes of Piccolo, Vegeta, Freeza, and Majin Buu -- all former villains. There's definitely room for Tournament of Power standouts like Hit and Jiren to join up with the Z-Fighters in the next Dragon Ball series, to battle some greater threat that requires all the best fighters in the multiverse to beat. It would be great to see stoic Jiren soften up as he goes through some hilarious hijinks the rest of the cast.
There's a growing theory that Jiren could use a Super Dragon Ball wish that allows him to revisit the past and alter the tragic events of his life. We don't yet know who the evil-doer was that killed Jiren's family, but altering that course of history could create a new timeline that is vastly different. How Jiren fits into that new status quo would almost as intriguing as seeing how the Z-Fighters characters and powers we be re-imagined.
Let's assume that Dragon Ball Super does the most obvious and predictable thing possible: having Goku master Ultra Instinct and beat Jiren in a final, emotional bout. If it plays out like this, and Universe 11 gets erased, then the only way we'd see Jiren again is if he was resurrected from the afterlife. The reason that would happen? Same as a lot of these scenarios for the next Dragon Ball series: because Goku and company need Jiren's strength to beat some greater evil. Given his singular focus on upping his power, some time in the netherworld could give Jiren a serious boost. Wouldn't that be something to see?
Goku seems poised to definitely win the Tournament of Power, and knowing Goku, there's only one thing he likes more than eating, is fighting strong warriors - and he's just met an entire smorgasbord of powerful new opponents. In his own down-to-earth simplistic way, a Super Dragon Balls wish may give Goku a bridge between the Zenos' desire to prune the multiverse, and his own desire to have a universe of strong fighters to battle: make it all one Universe. In that case, Jiren, Hit, Cabba and the rest would became the Z-Fighters' cosmic neighbors, with Goku often showing up as the nosy neighbor annoying everyone with fight propositions.
This may seem like a cheat, but given the history of Dragon Ball, it's really more of a caveat. A lot of fans already think that Jiren's backstory is weak and generic, and that reveals like the evil entity that slaughtered his people, and mysterious master who trained him, are nothing but empty red herrings. Dragon Ball isn't always known for having the best storylines, and with the series ending right after this next batch of episodes, Jiren (and all of Universe 11) could exit the series, never to be seen again in the next installment of the franchise. Looking at you, Uub...
Dragon Ball Super's “Universal Survival” arc is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.