Cyberpunk 2077 Keanu Reeven More Detail explained 2020
They’ve revealed a character based on legendary actor Keanu Reeves. That’s all good and well, but you just know they wouldn’t get a big actor in for just some throwaway part. It’s pretty obvious Reeves’scharacter has a much bigger role in the world of Cyberpunk 2077 than first appears. Let’s start with the evidence: In the first trailer, they hinted at how your choices would matter. This is significant because the choice is shown to be nigh impossible in this world of corporate collaboration and lower-class lunacy. You either buy the things they want you to buy, or you buy them anyway. The question is, how can you choose what you want to choose? That’s where Keanu Reeves comes in. Keanu Reeves has known for his role in The Matrix series of films, which also had a choice as a major theme. In The Matrix, Keanu Reeves played The One, a powerful being who could manipulate reality with just his thoughts. He and his friends were oppressed by a sinister system, and he used his choices to overthrow this system and win freedom for all mankind.
CD Projekt Red are echoing this image by casting Keanu Reeves. They’re throwing everyone off the scent by selling him as a “big name in a minor role”, but even if he has little screen time, his influence on the story is bound to be significant. The only question is this: in echoing his role as the liberator of mankind, is Reeves going to work in the shadows, or pass the torch to the player? The answer is both. If we look at the second trailer, we’ll notice a torn movie poster in the background. It’s hard to tell because of the damage, but if we compare the images… we can see that it’s the poster for Constantine, another Keanu Reeves movie where he acts as a savior. Being ripped in half points to Reeves’sdual role in the morality of Cyberpunk 2077. On the visible side of his appearance, he seems obscure, unimportant, easy to miss. But if you were to see the other side, the parts they only hint at, you would get the full picture. There’s even more significance to the torn poster.
For this one, we’ll have to go back in time to Ancient Egypt. There’s Egyptiansymbolism all over Cyberpunk 2077, but that’s a video for another time. The important thing, for now, is the Egyptian pantheon. Back in those days, Egyptians believed in a wide variety of gods who they could pray to for certain blessings. Bast, the cat goddess, would give blessings in the home, and Ra would bless you with the favor of the pharaoh. But, most importantly for this theory, we have Osiris. Osiris was born to be the king of the Egyptian gods. With his wife, Isis, he sailed up the Nile river to his coronation ceremony. However, on the way, they were intercepted by his jealous brother, Set. To claim the throne for himself, he hacked his brother into many pieces and threw them into the Nile. The set became the king of the gods, and Isis gathered all the pieces of her murdered husband and put them back together. However, it was too late for him to be king of the living world.
So… He became king of the underworld. When people died, they traveled along the river of the dead, echoing Osiris’s same disastrous journey, and just as Osiris was met by his wicked brother, the dead traveler would be met by Osiris. However, being a more just king than his brother, Osiris would give his victims a chance for salvation. He would weigh up all the good deeds they had done in life against the bad things, and if the balance was off, he would cut their soul into pieces and scatter them throughout the underworld. Now, the torn Keanu Reeves poster is an allusion to the myth of Osiris and adds a new twist to his role: Reeves isn’t merely going to save mankind. He is going to judge them. But is that all he’ll do? In the trailer that revealed KeanuReeves’s appearance in the game, there is some faint text over his head for a couple of frames in his first shot.
It may look like squiggles to you, but don’t be fooled. This is an ancient Sanskrit. If you translate it into English, it says, “Kali is upon us. Tremble with awe.” In ancient Hindu mythology, Kali was the daughter of Shiva, who was the god of destruction. But while Shiva was a balanced god, who could destroy for good as well as for evil, Kali was indiscriminate in her violence. In one of the most famous stories about Kali, she started attacking a village of Vishnu worshippers, and Vishnu’s sixth incarnation, Rama, stepped in to save them. Rama was the most powerful of Vishnu’s many incarnations, and even he fell immediately before Kali’s wrath. They say that the blood of all the villagers and Rama mingled together, and Vishnutransformed it into the Ganges river. The point is, Kali was not one to mess with, and it was only through others picking up the pieces that good ever came of her acts.
So what does it mean for KeanuReeves to be associated with Kali? Taken together with the allusions to Osiris and The Matrix, we have a complex projection of his role in the plot: despite being a heroic figure, of sorts, he is also a major force in the destruction of the world as we know it. Behind the scenes, while the player is off doing other things, Keanu Reeves is judging the world and working to destroy it. And like Kali, he may end up destroying whatever good is left in the world along with the bad. Which sheds new light on the role of the player in the story. It’s pretty straightforward, right? Keanu reeves is the Kali figure who will destroy indiscriminately, while the player will be the Vishnu figure who makes it work out somehow. Well… Not exactly.
There’s another intriguing bit of symbolism in the third trailer which gives a hint to the true nature of the player. Near the end, there is a shot where the player looks down, and you can see they are wearing a necklace. The necklace resembles a bird. To be specific, an albatross. This is an allusion to the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In the poem, a sailor kills an innocent albatross and has to wear its dead body around his neck as penance. The sailor is a metaphor for the English monarchy in the 1700s, and the albatross is a metaphor for the general public. So, if the player is like the ancient Mariner, does that mean… We’re involved in the destruction? But if our choices will matter, don’t we get a say in that? Unfortunately… No. Before the game even begins, we already have the albatross around our necks.
Whatever we choose throughout the story, we can’t escape the consequences of things we’ve already done. It seems that our goal is not to help, or to hinder, the destruction, judgment, and salvation being done by Keanu Reeves. Rather, all we can do is watch helplessly, suffering under the guilt of our own misdeeds, with only the possibility of making something of it when the blood is already flowing. Ironically, Keanu Reeves, the big Hollywood star, has usurped the traditional roles of a video game protagonists from us. He is the wanton destroyer, the heroic savior, and the impartial judge. He is everything we want to be. Instead, he has left us with the agency to powerlessly drift through the game world, showing us the horror of the meaningless life of a video game NPC. But that’s a theory for another day.