Cyberpunk 2077 releases in November when we will finally be able to meet Keanu Reeves’ character, Johnny Silverhand. In preparation for this release, let’s take a look at what we know about Silverhand so far:
Johnny Silverhand is a world-famous Rockerboy. In the Cyberpunk universe, Rockerboys are “rebellious musicians who use music and revolt to fight authority.” They were first introduced to the Cyberpunk universe in Cyberpunk 2013, also known as Cyberpunk The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future and will make their next appearance in Cyberpunk 2077. Johnny, born under the name Robert John Under, was a heavy influence on the Rockerboys and made them what they are today. Under joined the US military and was quickly met with combat in the form of the Central American Conflict in 1990. It turns out that this was run by a “corrupt and manipulative government” and when the American soldiers were exposed to the government secrets, many dropped their weapons and instead chose to desert the military. Robert refused to fight a corrupt war, so instead he went back home to Night City and changed his name to Johnny Silverhand, his last name taken from his cybernetic arm that replaced his biological arm he lost in the war. 10 years after moving back to Night City, Silverhand formed the legendary chrome rock band “Samurai.”
Samurai was comprised of Johnny himself as the lead/rhythm guitar and vocals, Kerry Eurodyne as vocals as well as lead/rhythm guitar, Denny the drummer, Nancy/Bes Isis the keyboardist, and Henry on bass. After soaring to the top of the charts, Samurai would unfortunately be no more after Nancy is sent to prison for pushing her abusive boyfriend out of a window in 2008. Johnny still wanted to use his stardom to start a solo career as a platform to continue to vent his anti-corporation/anti-government messages. DBS Music, a record label, wanted Johnny signed so desperately that they resorted to threatening him with blackmail, nearly revealing his true identity as a military deserter. Johnny instead signed with Universal Music, releasing an entire album titled SINS of Your Brothers in which he admitted he was a deserter and at the same time revealed the atrocities the government had ordered. The album was insanely successful and swayed public opinions on what being a deserter meant.
In 2013, however, Johnny’s life would be changed forever. His then-girlfriend, Alt Cunningham, a “beautiful and talented Netrunner (cybernetically enhanced computer hackers with interface systems implanted into their body), and himself were on a walk when Cunningham was kidnapped by Arasaka thugs. Arasaka is a world-wide mega corporation dealing in corporate security, banking, and manufacturing. They wanted Cunningham to develop a dangerous software capable of downloading any netrunner’s mind, this software was known as “Soulkiller” and it would kill anyone whose brain they downloaded. Johnny grouped together a strike team to go in and rescue Cunningham and also called the former members of Samurai to perform a free show in front of Arasaka Tower in Night City. Unfortunately, the strike team was too late as Johnny’s former lover was dead, but her mind remained trapped inside the Arasaka mainframe as they used her own software against her. Below is an image, presumably of Alt Cunningham in Cyberpunk 2077:
Determined to find Cunningham, Johnny led a final assault on Arasaka headquarters in Night City, with every intention of ending the Fourth Corporate War. Unfortunately, there were many obstacles in his way, one of which being a “Borg” named Adam Smasher, who is more machine now than man. Smasher is thought to have dealt the killing blow to Johnny Silverhand, ending his search for Alt Cunningham and sending the world into a panic with many people concerned of his whereabouts and status of life.
Well…hopefully you learned a bit more about Keanu Reeves’ character Johnny Silverhand. We’re sure to learn even more when Cyberpunk 2077 releases on November 19, 2020. Until then….we’ve got a city to burn.