Everything You Need To Know About Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077
Ex-military rockstar Johnny Silverhand was first introduced in the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020. CD Projekt Red‘s upcoming video game, Cyberpunk 2077, isn’t a remake. It’s a continuation of the original story, which prominently featured everyone’s favorite musical rebel.
In the game, Silverhand is played by actor Keanu Reeves, known for his roles in The Matrix and John Wick. The world of Cyberpunk 2077 revolves around a character named V who is haunted by the digital ghost of Reeves’ Silverhand. Here’s everything you need to know about him before launching into the Cyberpunk world:
1. He’s a Military Deserter
The Central American Conflict started in 1990. It was a bloodbath, run by a corrupt and manipulative government. But when their secrets were exposed, many of the American soldiers dropped their red, white, and blue weapons. Instead, they fought back by deserting the military. The government used its power to create powerful propaganda to make the public hate deserters.
But Johnny Silverhand wouldn’t fight a corrupt war. So he went back home to Night City and began his life anew. The military changed his life forever, and even changed his name. Silverhand. A cybernetic arm that replaced the arm he lost at war. His every movement would remind him of his mission: rebellion.
2. He Leads the Famous Band Samurai
His rebellion came in the form of a band called Samurai. Samurai was a band made up members Johnny Silverhand, Kerry Eurodyne, Denny, Nancy/Bes Isis, and Henry. His music was revolutionary, and the world loved him. He rose to the top of the carts in record time with his band. But Samurai couldn’t last forever.
Their keyboard player Nancy was in an abusive relationship at the time. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she pushed her abusive boyfriend out of a window and was taken to prison. And without her, Samurai split up.
3. He Was Blackmailed
Johnny Silverhand was still one of the most popular musicians at the time. He planned to use his star power to begin a solo career and continue to push his anti-corporation and anti-government messages. DBS Music wanted to sign him so desperately that they threatened him and even blackmailed him. They threatened to reveal that he was a deserter.
Instead, Johnny Silverhand signed with Universal Music, and released an entire album calls SINS of Your Brothers admitting that he was a deserter, and revealing all the terrible things the government ordered. The album was wildly successful, and changed public perception of what it meant to be a deserter. And Johnny Silverhand was not even at the height of his career yet.
4. He’s a Rockerboy
There are many Rockerboys in the world of Cyberpunk. They are the charismatic leaders of rebellions, and voices against the mega-corporations. They are a force to be reckoned with, because fans hang onto their every word and their every lyric.
Needless to say, there are no Rockerboys quite as popular, famous, or loved as Johnny Silverhand. He redefined what it meant to be a Rockerboy. He was more than a pretty face. With his military background, he was always ready to fight for what he believed in.
5. His Girlfriend Was Murdered
In 2020, everything changed for Johnny Silverhand. He was on a walk with his girlfriend, Alt Cunningham when she was taken and kidnapped by thugs working for the Japanese mega-corporation Arasaka. Arasaka was, and is, one of the most powerful organizations in the entire world, with financial and political power unlike any other.
They wanted to use Alt Cunningham for her incredible talent as a programmer. They wanted her to make a software called The Soulkiller that would be able to copy and download any netrunner’s mind. It was a dangerous software, that would have killed anyone whose brain they wanted to copy.
6. He Fought For Her
Johnny Silverhand made a plan. He gathered a strike team to infiltrate the Arasaka offices so that he could save Alt Cunningham. On top of that, he called in a favor from all the members of his old band. Samurai gathered together and performed an entirely free show. The show was right in front of the Arasaka Offices in Night City.
The strike team made it there just moments too late. Cunningham died, in a way. Her mind was trapped inside of the Arasaka mainframe. And Johnny planned to get it back.
7. He’s Dead
He went to find Cunningham, but there were more than a few obstacles in the way. The biggest obstacle was a Borg, a person that was once human who eventually replaced so many parts of their body with cybernetic implants that there was no flesh left at all. This terrifying Borg was named Adam Smasher.
Legend has it, Adam Smasher gunned down Silverhand with a rifle. His body was never found though, because Militech, a company fighting against Arasaka, launched their attack at the same time. They dropped a bomb on the Arasaka building and nothing was left to find.
8. It’s Been 57 Years
Based on everything that we know so far about Cyberpunk 2077, it is not a separate story from Cyberpunk 2020. In fact, Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be a continuation of all of Cyberpunk 2020’s stories. With that in mind, his appearance in the upcoming game raises a lot of questions.
We know that in 2020, Johnny Silverhand disappeared. We know that he was chasing after his netrunner girlfriend, who was uploaded to the Arasaka mainframe. We know that he was defeated by Adam Smasher. And we know that it’s been 57 years since he’s been seen alive. Almost everything else is a mystery. Almost.
9. He’s In Your Head
We also know that the player in Cyberpunk 2077 will be able to see Silverhand very specifically because of a chip implant. It’s unclear how we got the chip implant, or even where we got it from. But for some reason, we see Johnny Silverhand everywhere, as he follows us and joins us on our quest.
Will it be our job to find him? Or will we get lost in a futile quest for answers?
Will we have to save him? Or will he be our savior?
10. People Love Him
Ever since he disappeared, people have mourned Johnny Silverhand. There is graffiti all throughout Night City that simply says, “Where’s Johnny?” Even decades later, people hold out hope that Johnny Silverhand is somewhere out there, ready to raise some hell and lead the revolution.
It’s as if the world simply cannot accept that a voice and power as great as Johnny Silverhand could ever truly die. And based on our short previews of the game, he’s not quite gone yet. The world will be thrilled to learn this, if they ever believe us.
11. You can listen to his music
CD Projekt Red has worked with multiple musicians and bands to write and perform Samurai’s greatest hits. They have songs like Chippin’ In and Never Fade Away. You can listen to Chippin’ In below.
12. He’s Played By Keanu Reeves
One of the biggest surprises of 2019 was that Keanu Reeves was featured as Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077. It was revealed in the trailer shown at E3. Keanu Reeves himself stepped out onto the stage and hyped the game, explaining the vast open world with a branching storyline.
Even your relationship with Johnny Silverhand can change. Every action is important. And every choice you make can bring you closer to the truth.
The highly-anticipated release of Cyberpunk 2077 has been slightly delayed by CD Projekt Red in order to ensure the game releases at peak quality, rather than rushing to meet the original launch date. That gives us plenty of time to learn more about the original RPG world and come up with theories as to how Johnny Silverhand will factor into the epic and intriguing plot.
What are your Johnny Silverhand theories? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!
To learn more about Rockerboys, Netrunners, and the other types of people living in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, check out this guide to the bet Cyberpunk 2077 Character Classes.
Plus, don’t forget Sideshow’s exciting announcement of The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 licenses, with new collectibles coming soon!