With the thousands and thousands of threads on this forum I'm sure somebody's mentioned these theories so let's be clear that my goal isn't to get credit or prestige for posting this. My hope is that we can discuss and define these very possible plot turnings, and more importantly we can put forth and analyze any exsisting evidence that make support or debunk the theory that I'm presenting. With that being said... CONTROL YOUR UCHIHA/UZUMAKI FANATICISM!!! On to the thread... Spoiler: CLICK HERE IF YOU'RE A MANGA READER Will Sasuke fight Orochimaru? Well I think so, and I think he'll have to do it before he fights Itachi. Here's why... "Itachi > Orochimaru" -This has been proven. He wanted Itachi's sharingan and he couldn't take it so he left Akatsuki. "Orochimaru > Sasuke" -Once again this one is obvious, in fact it's so obvious that it doesn't deserve or need any evidence. There are only two ways that Sasuke can become strong enough to defeat Itachi: the first is to let Orochimaru take over his body and hope that he makes good on his promise (he doesn't have a good tract record in this department), the second is to train, copy Oro's thousands of jutsus, and exceed him in terms of power. Now there's a few reasons why the first path towards defeating Itachi probably won't happen, but there's one that's so obvious that it makes the others insignificant: Sasuke has problems with authority. Isn't that why he left Konoha? Because their goals and their ideals were hampering his? I don't think his relationship with Orochimaru is any different then his relationship with other authority figures, and I don't think he'll just lay there in his jockeys asking Orochimaru to take him. This tension between these two obsessed individuals was not only foreshadowed by, but made up the bulk of the ONLY exchange that we've seen between Sasuke and the Village of Sound, and I'm under the opinion that this one scene will resonate though Part 2 and the rest of the series. With this path towards defeating Itachi being an unlikely one (letting Oro take his body), the only other way that Sasuke can obtain vengeance is by surpassing Orochimaru and moving on to Itachi. While I'm sure that Kabuto will be forced to fight him first, Orochimaru will ultimately have to step in and settle the score with Sasuke. Besides, before the series is over we'll need to see at least one changing of the Sannin guard... Not sure how soon this is gonna happen, but I think based on the evidence above it's obvious that's it's going to happen at some point. What happens next is anyone's guess... Orochimaru could defeat Sasuke, steal his body and once again declare war on Konoha. This would be great because at some point in the future Naruto, or more likely Sakura could tear Oro's soul from Sasuke thereby saving him and defeating Orochimaru at the same time. The other (and more likely) outcome, is that Sasuke defeats Orochimaru and word spreads to Konoha, Akatsuki and most importantly Itachi. This would redeem Sasuke in the eyes of the Leaves (especially Naruto), and make up for his treasonous act of escaping Konoha. As it stands now, Sasuke is a criminal that's not welcome back in Konoha, so for a happy ending to take place he'll need to redeem himself, and I can't think of a better way than taking out one of the most powerful members of Akatsuki while still leaving an oppurtunity for Naruto to come in and "save" him. I suppose Itachi COULD defeat Sasuke leaving Naruto to step in and save him, but I think Naruto's increasing anger about being treated like a suitcase is resulting in his newest arch-enemy being The Leader of Akatsuki, and THIS will be who Naruto saves him from. All in all, this scenario of first defeating Orochimaru and then defeating Itachi would provide a happy ending to the Sasuke sub-plot and still leave sufficient room for Naruto to save the day and the world from the evil clutches of Akatsuki. All of this aside though, we WILL see a fight between Sasuke and Orochimaru, and it will be very VERY sweet. In very traditional scientific fashion, I'll now submit my theories to my fellow scientists for scrutiny and testing. Please don't hold back, and please remember that my only "theory" is that Sasuke will HAVE to fight Orochimaru BEFORE he fights Itachi. How that all happens, what happens, and what happens after it is anybody's guess.