Spaceman: Why Does Hanuš Call Jakub Skinny Human?

In Netflix’s science fiction film ‘Spaceman,’ Hanuš the Spider refers to the protagonist Jakub Procházka, a cosmonaut who is in the outskirts of Jupiter to learn about the Chopra Cloud, as a “skinny human.” After spending nearly six months in outer space, eating processed food to remain alive, Jakub is not in his best shape. Even though he exercises regularly to avoid any health-related complications, Jakub is bulkier than a typical astronaut. Still, the spider refers to his new companion as “skinny.” Although the phrase is puzzling, it is indeed endearing and an integral part of the companionship Jakub forms with the spider! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Hanuš the Spider and the Skinny Human

The obvious possible reason behind Hanuš referring to Jakub as a “skinny human” is that there could have been human-like entities on the former’s planet before it was invaded by the parasitic Gorompeds. Since Hanuš is an extremely huge creature, it is safe to say that other beings who had lived on his planet were most likely enormous. If there were entities like human beings on the planet, very large like Hanuš, it is not a surprise that the spider finds Jakub tiny. “Skinny” can be a word he chooses to describe the inferiority of the species of Earth, as far as overall size is concerned.

In Johan Renck’s film and its source novel ‘Spaceman of Bohemia,’ written by Jaroslav Kalfař, Hanuš is presented as a billions of years old creature with immense wisdom. As someone who has dived into the mysteries of the universe, Hanuš has unequaled knowledge in comparison with Jakub. Soon after their first encounter, Hanuš succeeds in becoming Jakub’s “guru,” which sheds light on the intellectual superiority of the spider over the human species. By using the word “skinny,” Hanuš can be establishing such a superiority. The extraterrestrial creature can be describing the highly limited knowledge of human beings as “skinny,” which can also mean, in this context, scarce.

Renck wanted Hanuš to be an endearing character. The emphasis on the phrase “skinny human” can be a part of the process to make Hanuš loveable. The phrase evidently creates a bond between the spider and the human being, far away from any other living organisms. “Obviously the task was to make a character that’s unpleasant at first, but then you start spending time with him and you start liking him – maybe even loving him,” the filmmaker said after the premiere of the movie at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival.

“I hope that Hanuš is a little bit scary at first because he would be. I mean, he is a giant spider. Spiders, especially hairy spiders, they’re not for everybody. But he’s a kind soul and a wise man. He’s a traveler of space and time. It was easy for me to love him, and I hope the audience does, too,” Paul Dano, who lends his voice to Hanuš, said about his character, joining Renck. Even though ‘Spaceman’ doesn’t explain why Jakub is referred to as a “skinny human,” these theories explain the intention behind the phrase and its significance as far as Hanuš and Jakub’s relationship is concerned.

Read More: Spaceman Ending, Explained: Will Jakub and Lenka Remain Together?