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Only the Umbrella Academy showrunner knows what the cube is saying

The 7th member of the Sparrow Academy is the team mediator

a floating blue cube Image: Netflix

The new season of The Umbrella Academy brings seven new(ish) Hargreeves siblings into the fold. In this reality, enigmatic millionaire (and alien?!) Reginald Hargreeves adopted a different set of siblings and raised them as a superhero squad. Called the Sparrow Academy, they have totally different power sets than the Umbrella Academy we know and love, and also seem to get along better — at least well enough to project their outward image of an elite crime-fighting crew.

Out of all the Sparrows, the most memorable is probably Christopher. Played by newcomer Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube, Christopher is a floating cube who can change temperature and induce fear. And he’s treated like any other member of the Sparrow Academy — he hangs out with his siblings, trains with them, and is on all the Sparrow Academy’s promotional posters. According to the official character bios, Christopher is also the family mediator and offers his siblings advice in times of conflict. We love to see it.

However, because he is a cube, he has no mouth and cannot speak. Instead, Christopher speaks telepathically, and on screen that usually means he makes little chittering noises and the characters around him respond as if they understand his words. It’s a little bit like R2-D2’s bleeps and bloops in Star Wars, Blue’s little barks in Blue’s Clues, or Beaker in The Muppets. As the audience, we have no idea what he’s saying, but the characters clearly do.

the sparrow academy running on a treadmill, with a floating cube next to them Image: Netflix

Or do they? Actually, showrunner Steven Blackman revealed that Christopher’s lines were never written out.

“But I know what they are,” he explains. “So when the actors are saying like, What’s going on here? I give them a sense of it. We never gave the actors the real lines.”

The Sparrows appeared at the end of the last graphic novel, and while there is a floating cube pictured in the panel, Christopher has not been properly introduced. However, the production notes for this season reveal that Gerard Way’s version of the character is made up of millions of dead flies (yuck). Blackman, however, opted to make Christopher out of “smooth volcanic rock,” which would mean Christopher is made out of something like obsidian (ba dum tss). Whatever his inner components may be, though, he’s a powerful ally and clearly a supportive sibling.

Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy is out on Netflix now.

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