Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (2023)

By Craig Elvy

Luther Hargreeves begins Netflix's The Umbrella Academy on the moon, but why was he actually there? Here's how season 3 explains the mystery.

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (1)

The Umbrella Academy season 3 proves Luther's stint on the moon wasn't a complete waste of time after all. The seven Hargreeves siblings all carry a grudge against their adopted father, whether it be for secretly suppressing their powers (Viktor), locking them in a tomb (Klaus), or just being a really terrible parent (everyone else). Only Tom Hopper's Luther stays loyal to Sir Reginald Hargreeves in adulthood, and he's the Umbrella Academy's sole remaining member when Netflix's live-action adaptation begins. Did Luther spend his solo superhero career fighting bad guys and saving the world? Not exactly.


(Video) Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly)

The Umbrella Academy episode 1 starts with Luther Hargreeves living in a trailer on the moon, his existence as solitary as it is utterly mundane. News of Sir Reginald's death brings Luther down to Earth both in a literal and figurative sense, as the Umbrellas' Number One begins to question whether his loyalty was misplaced. The moon becomes something of a bittersweet memory for Luther - on one hand a reminder of his fatherly baggage, on the other an achievement he'll boast about to literally anyone who'll listen for the next three seasons.


Audiences had long theorized that there was more to Luther's lunar mission than met the eye, and The Umbrella Academy season 3 finally confirms it. Here's the real reason Luther Hargreeves was The Umbrella Academy's man on the moon.

What Luther THOUGHT He Was On The Moon For In Umbrella Academy S1

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (2)

Whereas the likes of Diego and Allison would've questioned being sent on a mission into space all alone, Sir Reginald Hargreeves took advantage of Luther's unwavering loyalty by sending his Number One to the moon without actually explaining why. Luther was instructed to write detailed reports of the celestial conditions and collect field samples of moon rock, but never received any clear indication what these tests were for. In his naivety, Luther assumed he was saving the world by standing guard against some interstellar threat. That's certainly the story Allison tells her daughter when reading about "Spaceboy" at bedtime, and Luther is equally convinced his mysterious mission was (somehow) heroic.

That was until Luther discovered all the packages sent from his lunar excursion were unopened and stored in his father's office. Demanding answers from Pogo, the talking chimp claimed that after Luther's accident (the one that resulted in his ape-like transformation), Sir Reginald felt his Number One needed a purpose, so invented the moon mission to focus Luther's mind. Understandably devastated by this revelation, Luther comes to believe Sir Reginald simply wanted him out of the way.

Umbrella Academy S3 Reveals The REAL Reason Luther Was On The Moon

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (3)
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Luther Hargreeves finally confronts his father (the Sparrow timeline version, at least) in The Umbrella Academy season 3. Unleashing his repressed frustrations, Luther blames Sir Reginald for sending him on a wild moon chase. Sparrow Reginald corrects Luther, revealing the lunar mission did have a point: guarding "the most precious thing in the universe." Though Reticent Reggie doesn't share any further details with Luther, The Umbrella Academy season 3 flashbacks confirm that a little beyond the zone of moon Luther patrolled sat a cryogenic chamber containing the deceased Abigail Hargreeves - Sir Reginald's wife.

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Unbeknownst to Spaceboy himself, Luther's presence on the moon protected Abigail. Though The Umbrella Academy doesn't elaborate on exactly what harm could come to a frozen corpse on the moon, season 2's "743" episode drops one potentially vital hint. Sir Reginald Hargreeves' shadow government contacts, the Majestic 12, threatened their alien friend by mentioning his "interests on the dark side of the moon." The Majestic 12 become the Massacred 12 shortly after, but Reginald's other enemies could feasibly know his secret also, explaining why Abigail might need a bodyguard.

Abigail Hargreeves' existence was Sir Reginald's most important lie, so it's no surprise he didn't share this crucial piece of information with Luther - but why would Pogo tell Number One "he [Reginald] wanted to give you purpose" in The Umbrella Academy season 1? The chimp-butler didn't necessarily know about his master's lunar lover, so maybe the "purpose" excuse was just what Reginald told him while they were packing Luther's underwear onto the rocket. On the other hand, Pogo is Sir Reginald's oldest friend, and was even aware of Project Oblivion's existence, so he certainly might've been privy to Abigail's moon tomb. Pogo spends almost the entirety of The Umbrella Academy season 1 lying to the Hargreeves siblings; telling Luther that his father sent him to the moon to "find purpose" could be another intentional half-truth.

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Can Abigail Hargreeves Save The World?

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (4)

Why did Sir Reginald Hargreeves need Luther to protect Abigail's frozen chamber? Was it just love? Or does Abigail possess a deeper importance to the universe's survival? While this question won't be answered until The Umbrella Academy season 4 (if at all), several small details suggest Sir Reginald wasn't just resurrecting his wife for selfish reasons.

Reginald Hargreeves repeatedly claims his children were destined to save the world, but The Umbrella Academy's season 3 finale reveals the team's true purpose was entering Oblivion and powering-up the universal reset machine, which Reginald uses to bring his wife back from the dead. Perhaps by saving Abigail, the Umbrella Academy is saving the world - they (and the audience) just don't understand how yet. Reginald does describe his wife as the most precious thing "in the universe," after all. Maybe he's just a big romantic, or maybe he was being literal.


This would retroactively explain an afterlife conversation between Klaus and Sir Reginald from The Umbrella Academy season 1. When the Séance confronted his father's ghost about Luther's bogus mission, Reginald argued back, "I knew that the world would soon need him, need all of you... I had to do what was necessary." Again, this line strongly implies that by protecting Abigail, Luther was somehow protecting the world.

Was Anyone On The Moon Before Luther?

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (5)
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Here's a tricky one: if Abigail has been languishing on the moon since at least 1963 (probably earlier), why did Sir Reginald Hargreeves only send someone to protect her in the 2010s? There's no suggestion a guard was stationed on the moon before Luther, and no reason Abigail should need more protection in the present than in the past. And here's another tricky one: if The Umbrella Academy season 3's universal reset machine gives Sir Reginald total power to rewrite reality, why does he need his wife's corpse frozen? Even if her body was buried, the reset machine could surely still resurrect her. Strangely, these two questions may share an answer.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves founded his Umbrella/Sparrow Academies because he needed a team of seven individuals to enter Oblivion, defeat the guardians, then fuel the universal reset with their "marigold" fireflies. When Diego, Allison, Klaus and Viktor all left home (with Five already vanished and Ben already dead), any hopes of completing this plan would've been quashed. With Abigail's resurrection impossible, it makes sense that Reginald would send Luther to protect her frozen body, since whatever makes her special might still be preserved. This explains why no one was protecting Abigail before Luther, and suggests Sir Reginald kept his wife's corpse on ice as a backup plan in case he couldn't revive her properly.

How Long Was Luther On The Moon?

Why Luther Was On The Moon In Umbrella Academy (Explained Properly) (6)

In The Umbrella Academy season 1, Luther makes several references to being on the moon for "four years." With The Umbrella Academy beginning in 2019, this means he must've taken off around 2015. Presumably, Luther would've stayed even longer had Sir Reginald Hargreeves not orchestrated his own death to bring the Academy siblings back together. Luther only returns to Earth when he hears the bad news, so he could've stayed in orbit indefinitely if that message hadn't arrived.

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