"Beyond the Aquila rift" is a short film in the Netflix series "Love, Death and Robots". For those that haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do before reading.
This is one of those films that can be seemingly interpreted in multiple ways. Now, I have an interpretation that I think follows the hidden messages much more closely and is more satisfying than any I've seen on the internet/YouTube. But, I want to post it here to see if others agree with it and possibly poke holes in it. For the remainder of this post, I'll assume you've seen the film.
The obvious question after you watch the film is "what the heck is going on". We know there is this spider that is feeding a simulated reality to the crew of the ship. Why is she doing this?
The most common explanation you'll see is that she isn't a malevolent creature and the ship ended up there due to some error and she is now trying to ease the people's pain before they die.
This explanation is hard to digest for me. Here is my case for this - first, we clearly see that the creature is a spider and the ship is trapped in a web. When you see a fly trapped in a spiders web, do you consider it got there "by accident"? The symbolism is similarly clear here. We see the ships trapped in a web. Not crashed on a planet, not orbiting a black hole, trapped in a web. So, the spider is lying when she says they got their due to an error. Further proof of this? The first time she wakes Susie, Susie is confused and wants to know what the heck happened. However, as soon as she tries to access the ships logs to make sense of things, BOOM! - she faints. Also, the second time Susie wakes up, she claims she's been having dreams involving the spider, meaning these games are being played on her in parallel to Thom. Now if the spider trapped them, why did she do this, what does she want from them?
I think she's running a hive mind and wants to assimilate minds into it. A regular spider builds webs for sustenance. However, this spider is capable of trapping ships traveling at interstellar speeds. So, it's highly unlikely she needs to bodies of the humans for sustenance. Besides if she did, she would just eat them without waking them. Instead, she needs their minds. However, just like a regular spider must prepare and break down the flies before they can be assimilated into her body, this one needs to break down the minds before they can be assimilated into the hive. This explains why she tells Thom that the Earth is now 100 years ahead of when he left it and there is no point returning so why doesn't he just stay with her. She also says he's "not ready" when he says he wants to see the truth, meaning at some point he will be "ready" and there is a plan for him when he is.
It's also clear that her mind games (or mind breaking process) just isn't working on Suzy who immediately starts seeing through her stories with logic. Suzie is visibly much more shaken the second time than the first, claiming she's been having dreams about the spider.
Finally, I think the spider actually wasn't lying when she said she was Greta. I think Greta was probably on one of those other ships, arriving a few hundred years earlier and has been assimilated into the hive mind. So in a way she "is Greta". I feel this series basically answers the question posed here - https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html quoting -
"Now imagine that you made a spider much, much smarter—so much so that it far surpassed human intelligence? Would it then become familiar to us and feel human emotions like empathy and humor and love? No, it wouldn’t, because there’s no reason becoming smarter would make it more human—it would be incredibly smart but also still fundamentally a spider in its core inner workings. I find this unbelievably creepy. I would not want to spend time with a super-intelligent spider. Would you?? "