Spaceman Plot Explained: The True Meaning of the Movie

By Lauren Rouse Posted:
Spaceman Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan

Spaceman is the latest Netflix sci-fi film fronted by Adam Sandler and it is not afraid to explore some weird and unexpected territory that leaves its meaning in question.

The film is based on Jaroslav Kalfař's novel Spaceman in Bohemia, which charts the story of fictional astronaut Jakub Procházka (Sandler) and his eight-month-long solo journey to investigate the mysterious Chopra space cloud above Earth. 

Along the way, Jakub encounters the telepathic alien spider Hanuš (voiced by Paul Dano) who helps him to face his Earthly struggles. But not everything in Spaceman is straightforward and its ending is particularly ambiguous.

What Really Happens Throughout Spaceman Movie

Adam Sandler in Spaceman

The plot of Spaceman has many story strands, following Adam Sandler's Jakub in his efforts to capture a sample of the Chopra space cloud, the ups and downs of his relationship with his wife, Lenka, and his growing friendship with Hanuš.

Jakub's main struggle in the film is the breakdown of his marriage. Six months into his solo space journey, Jakub's pregnant wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan), stops contacting him and it is revealed to the audience she intends to leave him. 

Jakub experiences a dark depression but the arrival of Hanuš, who seeks to understand humans better, leads to the astronaut facing the memories of his past that have led him to this difficult spot. 

Through Hanuš's probing, it's revealed that Jakub has been so focused on succeeding as an astronaut in an attempt to clear his family name, which was disgraced when his father was caught and killed for being a Communist informant. This selfish goal led Jakub to neglect his marriage. 

At the end of the film, Jakub abandons his ship to save his new friend Hanuš by entering the Chopra cloud. Jakub learns that the cloud is the beginning and end of all time in the universe and the memories he experiences within it help him to relinquish his selfish ways and realize that his true want is to be with his wife. 

Do Jakub and Lenka Get Back Together?

Jakub and Lenka in Spaceman

Having gone through his "ghosts of Christmas past" revolution in Spaceman, Jakub's goal by the end is to save his marriage.

While within the Chopra cloud, Jakub reexperiences memories from his past. This ends with a fantasy sequence that shows Sandler's character, in his spacesuit, walking down a river where he encounters Lenka dressed as a Princess in a throwback to the night they had their first kiss.

In the encounter, Jakub asks Lenta for a kiss to which she responds, "You know that will kill you." Sandler's character retorts with an, "I'm good with that". This interaction essentially symbolizes that Lenka's love will end Jakub's astronaut career, but his recent learnings mean he is willing to accept that.

In the final scene of the film, having been saved by the South Koreans from the Chopra cloud, Sandler's character is seen making a call to Lenka:

Jakub: "If I had known then what I know now, I never would have left."

Lenka: "If I had known then what I know now, would I have kissed you?

Jakub: "Would you? Would you kiss me again?"

Lenka: "It was a really good kiss."

Lenka's smile at the end seems to suggest that when Jakub does eventually return to Earth their marriage will continue. 

What Happened to Hanus?

Hanus spider in Spaceman

Jakub's arachnid friend meets its demise at the end of Spaceman. 

Upon meeting Jakub, the spider explained that it had fled its planet after its kind had been eradicated by the Gorompeds. Towards the end of the film, Hanuš admits it has not been truthful with Jakub and will soon be devoured by the Gorompeds.

Ready to die, Hanuš ejects itself into the Chopra cloud, leading to Jakub mounting a rescue attempt. But there is no saving Hanuš who is dissolved into dust by the Gorompeds and becomes a part of space.

The major question here is whether Hanuš was even real to begin with, or if he was just a figment of Jakub's lonely imagination. The answer to that question is left up to the viewer's interpretation.

[ Hanuš: The Meaning of Spaceman's Spider Explained ]

The True Meaning of Spaceman

Carey Mulligan in Spaceman movie

While it may appear on the surface as a sci-fi space adventure, Spaceman is more interested in the complex themes of the human condition that can be explored in the conditions of space, in a similar vein to something like Ad Astra or Interstellar.

Director Johan Renck told Netflix in an interview that he believes the story is about "isolation and distance and unattainable love":

"It was first and foremost a love story for me, with such a unique and specific setting as being on a solo journey in space, which becomes a perfect metaphor [for loneliness.]"

The film ruminates on themes of loneliness, selfishness and love. It also touches on the idea of beginnings and endings, with the Chopra cloud representing this the most. 

After Jakub enters the cloud it signals the ending of his friendship with Hanuš who could be considered the embodiment of his loneliness. But the cloud also serves as the beginning of a new era for Jakub and Lenka's relationship - one in which Jakub is fully present this time. 

Spaceman is streaming now on Netflix.

- In This Article: Spaceman
Release Date
March 01, 2024
Adam Sandler
Carey Mulligan
- About The Author: Lauren Rouse
Lauren Rouse has been a writer at The Direct since the site launched in 2020. She has a huge passion for everything pop culture and currently writes news articles for the Marvel, Star Wars, DC and video game branches.