Is Hanuš the Spider Real or Jakub’s Imagination in Spaceman?

In Netflix’s science fiction film ‘Spaceman,’ Hanuš is an extraterrestrial spider that shows up in the spacecraft of Jakub Procházka out of nowhere as the latter reaches the “outskirts” of Jupiter. Hanuš introduces himself as an entity that has been existing since the creation of the known universe, which makes him billions of years old. Even though Jakub gets scared of the spider and even tries to kill him, they eventually form a bond that changes the cosmonaut’s life forever. Regardless of the creature’s significance in his life, Jakub constantly wonders whether the former is real or a creation of his imagination! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Hanuš: Real or Imagination?

Ever since Hanuš shows up in front of Jakub, the cosmonaut considers the possibility of the former being a creation of his imagination. When he brings up his doubt, the spider lets him know that he is as real as the human being. As Hanuš sneezes and devours hazelnut spread, Jakub also starts to believe that the spider is real. Since the cosmonaut is hundreds of millions of kilometers away from another human being, he finds a friend in Hanuš. Even though Jakub is eventually convinced that his “companion” is real, there are several clues hidden in the film that put forth arguments against his belief.

First of all, no one else other than Jakub can see Hanuš. The cosmonaut’s spacecraft is filled with cameras for Peter to see what happens inside the same. In addition to regular cameras, Peter confesses to using hidden ones as well to ensure the smooth progress of the mission. When Jakub gets panicked after seeing Hanuš for the first time, he asks Peter to check the footage from the camera, only for the latter to respond that he does not see anything unusual. If the spider is really a living entity, who gets embraced by Jakub in a significant scene, he is supposed to show up in the footage recorded by the cameras.

When Jakub sees Hanuš, the cosmonaut has passed over 190 days since he last saw another living being. The loneliness he experiences while traveling further and further away from his home planet is expected to affect him mentally and emotionally. As he continues to pursue an unexplored solar phenomenon, with nobody else to treat him as a human being, Jakub may have started hallucinating and Hanuš can be just a part of the same hallucination. In real life, several astronauts have reported seeing or experiencing strange phenomena in space without even traveling beyond the Moon.

If that’s the case, Jakub must be having similar experiences with Hanuš after traveling millions of miles further away from Earth’s natural satellite. The cosmonaut’s hallucination extends beyond Hanuš. In a pivotal scene, Jakub sees his wife Lenka Procházka as a rusalka, a water spirit from Slavic mythology, on a planet that’s similar to Earth. This glimpse into his imagination makes it clear that he is indeed hallucinating, which further questions the existence of Hanuš. After seeing a spider in his nightmare, the imaginary creature must have gotten trapped in his subconsciousness, likely only for him to imagine it as an entity that’s as large as himself.

If Hanuš is really a creation of Jakub’s imagination, its roots can be traced back to Jakub’s troubled relationships with his father and wife Lenka. The cosmonaut didn’t have a perfect connection with his father and he even signed up for the mission to expand the knowledge of humanity to atone for the sins committed by the latter. In Lenka’s case, Jakub is aware that their togetherness is on the line. Since he boarded his spacecraft when Lenka least wanted her partner away from her, he can be regretting his decision. The guilt and regret of not becoming a good son, partner, and father must be haunting him. That can be the reason why his mind likely created a creature that reminds him of his mistakes.

“This cabin fever of the spaceship where all the frustration with what’s going on Earth, which you cannot control, becomes sort of manifest in this spider creature who is there to help you navigate all these issues,” director Johan Renck told The Hollywood Reporter. Jakub ceases to see Hanuš when he gains clarity regarding his mistakes and relationships. The spider disappears from his life when he no longer needs a friend to remind him about the need to move on from his past and become a good partner.

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