I think it makes perfect sense when you think about it. The entire twist is basically contingent on the player knowing what happened in Crossbell. The Cold Steel series was meant to rope in new players into the universe, so it's not a big deal if they don't realize the significance of Millium and Crow being omitted in the prologue. But if you went into it as a veteran, it's just so egregious of a similarity with the opening of Zero that it has to be deliberate. And if you further take into account KeA's ability to change cause and effect, it certainly is within the realms of possibility that Rean and company meeting Crow and Millium was a side effect of KeA wanting the SSS to get involved with Estelle, Joshua, and Renne.
Plenty of people have theorized that or similar. The cannons did fire but Kea changed the worldline. I'm on the side that is only a coincidence though, I don't see them repeating the same twist And I agree, it was the best twist of the duology (and probably the saga) for me
Man, such a great twist. I love it. But what hit me the hardest is the realization that there's a timeline where the SSS are actually dead. I doubt the games will ever bother with timeline fuckery, but it's just sad thinking about it. And the hardest hitting part was the final illustration with Randy on his knees. I imagine the implication is that he was the last one to go since he was the strongest in the group, but he basically had to see Lloyd, Tio, and Elie die and he couldn't do anything about it. That final pose spoke so much volume. Rough stuff, man.