‘Spaceman’ Ending Explained & 2024 Film Summary: Is Jakub Dead Or Alive?


The new science fiction drama film released on Netflix, Spaceman, is a calming and poignant watch, despite having rather bizarre elements in the plot for the most part. The film is adapted from Jaroslav Kalfar’s 2017 novel Spaceman of Bohemia and features a cosmonaut who is in the middle of a revolutionary space research program. But matters turn strange and scary for him when he discovers the presence of a different being on his spaceship. Spaceman makes for a fairly entertaining watch, helmed by Adam Sandler in the central role, and also provides a few insights into love and relationships.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What is the film about?

Spaceman begins with a somewhat cryptic scene in which a man in full cosmonaut gear walks through a shallow stream on Earth, amazedly staring at something in front of him. But very soon, this scene turns out to be mere imagination, as the cosmonaut’s reverie is broken by a voice over the intercom. The man is Jakub Prochazka, a cosmonaut from the Czech Republic, currently in the middle of a mission as part of the Czech and European space research programs. Jakub has already spent a little over six months in space aboard his ship, and his mission is to get close enough to a phenomenon and gather sample particles from it for research. This phenomenon is a strange purple light that has become visible in the sky from Earth over the past two years, appearing almost like a tear in space. The patch has been named the Chopra Cloud, and now the Czech space research team has sent Jakub to gather dust particles from near the area to understand what it exactly is.

But the unusual part of this research mission is that there is nobody else with Jakub, meaning that he has spent six months completely by himself in outer space, with quite a few more such days to come. Back at home, Jakub has left behind his pregnant wife, Lenka, and the two have been arranged to speak with each other via a device named CzechConnect Quantum. The space mission has also been funded by numerous private companies, leading to instances where Jakub has to directly advertise their products, and the Quantum Machine is one such product as well, which allows people on Earth to speak with someone in space in real-time. However, Lenka has not been receiving Jakub’s calls for some time now despite being physically and mentally well. The reason for Lenka’s behavior is that she wants to end her marriage with Jakub, and she even records a video in which she speaks about the same.

But as Lenka has to send the video to the Czech space research authorities, Commissioner Tuma decides not to share it with Jakub yet, fearing that he would get distracted from his mission. Nonetheless, Jakub has the feeling that something is wrong and remains perplexed and sleepless for a few days. Therefore, he is not entirely sure whether the gigantic, English-speaking spider that he suddenly starts seeing on his spaceship is real or just a figment of his imagination.

Why did Lenka and Jakub’s relationship fail?

Although Spaceman is set in space and also has the rather strange premise of a cosmonaut becoming friends with a talking spider, it is the personal relationship between Jakub and Lenka that forms the crux of the work. Lenka’s reason for deciding to leave her husband initially seems a bit rash, and when she visits her mother for a few days, she too remarks that this might not be the best time to end her marriage. This is because Lenka is pregnant and will soon welcome a baby into the world, and it would obviously help the child to have a father by her side. The mother is therefore concerned that Jakub’s presence will help both Lenka and her child in the next few years. On the other side, the leader of the Czech space research program, Commissioner Tuma, is also of the opinion that she should support and love Jakub, but for a totally different reason. To Tuma, the efficiency of Jakub in carrying out the research mission is extremely important, and she knows that news of his marriage failing will definitely cause problems in the mission. So, she keeps Lenka’s video a secret from Jakub and suggests that the woman should not leave her husband.

Whenever Jakub asks for Lenka, telling his operator Peter to ensure that she is safe and well, he is told that she is either away from the house or that the Quantum device has broken down and needs to be fixed. However, as Jakub starts talking with the spider on his spaceship, more details about his relationship with Lenka are revealed. By the end, it is quite evident why Lenka wants to end her marriage, for she is deeply hurt and clueless about what Jakub exactly wants. The two had fallen in love very quickly after their first meeting, overcoming the fact that Jakub was terrified of water and Lenka was a lifeguard. Despite their differences, the two decided to stay together and got married with hopes of a bright future. But with time, Jakub started to change, as he grew terribly more invested and interested in his profession, to the point where he simply did not care about his wife’s well-being anymore.

From Jakub’s side, he admits that the spark and the attraction that he once felt for Lenka are no more, but he does genuinely want to feel the same way about her again. The wife had actually given him multiple chances earlier, but there was no sign of any improvement in Jakub. A few years earlier, Lenka had been pregnant, but she had to go through the toll of it completely alone since her husband was always away at work. This led to a terrible crisis, for Lenka suffered a miscarriage, and she was shattered following the incident. Jakub did give her love and comfort during the time, and he also made promises about changing his ways and giving more attention and focus to his personal life. Convinced that he would be a better husband now, the couple tried becoming parents once more, and Lenka got pregnant at present.

However, it soon became clear that Jakub had actually not changed, for his passion and deep interest in space research still consumed him to the point of making him extremely selfish. Lenka was once again left by herself to deal with the pregnancy, and then Jakub went on to leave the planet altogether, accepting the mission to fly to the Chopra Cloud and collect particles. Despite his promises about making efforts to improve their relationship, Jakub had completely let Lenka down, making her feel helpless and without any other choice. While she already had enough reason to leave her husband, the hormonal effects of her pregnancy on her mental state further convinced Lenka that getting a divorce was the only option, so she recorded the video for Jakub.

Why does Hanus appear before Jakub?

When Jakub first sees a giant spider in his spaceship, talking to him in perfect English, he is almost certain that he is losing his mind. Seeing the creature continue to exist, he even tries disinfecting the whole ship in order to kill it. This does not work either, as the spider soon reveals that it is not an ordinary earthly creature but instead from an alien civilization. As the two eventually start to coexist and even become friends, Jakub names the spider Hanus and opens up to him about his own life. The man does not actually have to do much to tell Hanus about himself, simply because the spider can read his mind and even get access to images and memories in his head. Hanus reveals that his home planet had been destroyed by space insects called Gorompeds, and he was the only survivor left. Following his escape, Hanus kept roaming through space and studying various matters until he discovered the existence of Jakub in his ship in outer space.

Hanus states that although he researched and understood about humans, he was intrigued and dumbfounded after learning about Jakub, for he had never known of someone so melancholic. It is indeed Jakub’s sadness and loneliness that brought the spider to his spacecraft because the alien creature wants to study and understand the reason for such a state. After seeing Jakub’s past and learning about why his marriage with Lenka was about to break, Hanus is no longer surprised, for he realizes where the man had gone so horribly wrong. In the process, he also successfully makes Jakub realize his own mistakes, as the cosmonaut admits how he had been terribly selfish and blind towards the needs of his wife.

The entire stretch of Jakub meeting with Hanus works like a therapeutic experience for the man, and in this regard, it is very obvious to question whether Hanus is even real. Spaceman deals with the character of Hanus as if he is completely real till the very end, but there can be plenty of doubts about his existence. After all, Hanus does seem to be a very corporeal projection of Jakub’s psyche and his guilty conscience, for he very well knows that he has abandoned Lenka in a certain way. This is why he asks Peter to connect him to Lenka via a telephone call and directly apologizes to his wife, accepting her silence and unwillingness to speak with him. The manner in which Hanus can read and view Jakub’s thoughts and how he convinces the man can definitely be seen as proof of the spider being a figment of Jakub’s imagination.

Hanus is also visible and audible to Jakub, with Peter not seeing or hearing the spider at any time. Although it is mentioned that all the cameras on the spaceship have gone faulty, Peter’s inability to hear the spider’s voice probably suggests that it is all inside Jakub’s head. When Hanus first disappears after learning how self-centered Jakub is, the latter is scared of being alone and pleads with him to stay back. Hanus returns after Jakub’s apology to Lenka, but then, when he decides to leave the spaceship at the end, Jakub is once again perplexed by the situation, to the point of dangerously following the spider outside. These incidents are perhaps further suggestions that Jakub had made up the character of Hanus in his mind in order to deal with the terrible loneliness and the unsettling thoughts about his failing marriage buzzing in his head.

Does Jakub survive?

At the end of Spaceman, Jakub’s ship finally reaches close enough to the Chopra Cloud, but as he attempts to gather dust particles from it, Hanus leaves the ship. The spider is now content after giving Jakub the lesson of his life, but the latter is unwilling to let go of his company. Jakub gears up and leaves the ship, only to be pulled inside the purple Chopra Cloud, which apparently holds everything inside of it from the beginning to the end of time. As the cosmonaut floats through all these memories and elements, witnessing various events and occurrences from throughout the stretch of time, he remarks that the only thing missing here is the existence of his beloved wife, Lenka.

The Chopra Cloud does not actually hold much relevance to the plot of Spaceman, except for it bringing the ultimate realization for Jakub: that he wants to reunite with his wife. His passion and interest in space exploration had brought him so far into outer space, making him the loneliest man in existence, and yet the most significant part of his life—Lenka—was nowhere to be found here. The scene with him walking through the stream on Earth with his cosmonaut suit on returns, and in this extended imagination, Jakub chooses to be with Lenka over his interest in space research. As Hanus dies and is consumed by the Gorompeds, Jakub gets pushed out of the mysterious Chopra Cloud, making it seem like he, too, will lose his life.

During Spaceman‘s ending, love prevails in all senses, both in Jakub’s personal life and also in his current situation. It had been mentioned that the Czech space research agency had been in a race with the South Koreans for all this while, attempting to reach the Chopra Cloud before their rivals, and it is now the Korean cosmonauts who rescue Jakub from floating into oblivion in space. Rivalries between nations and a space race for national prestige are all disregarded, and the value for human life takes precedence. Jakub takes the opportunity to call Lenka from the Korean spaceship itself, expressing his love for her and signifying that the couple finally reunites in the end.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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