Hoban Washburne

Hoban Washburne

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… on a planet where the pollution was so thick you couldn’t see the stars. But Hoban (Wash) was determined to see the galaxy, eventually enrolling in a piloting school so he could fly amongst the stars he’d never seen.

Living… onboard Malcolm Reynold’s ship the Serenity with his wife Zoë Washburne and six other crew mates. The Serenity is a smuggling ship that drifts through the galaxy looking for the jobs that other people can’t or won’t do.

Profession… pilot of the Serenity. Wash is a highly sought after pilot. Reynolds notes that he comes with a list of recommendations “as long as his leg.” Wash lives up to the hype, often entering a Zen-like state of calm when the ship is in danger. While a pilot first and foremost, Wash is a versatile member of the crew and willing to do whatever is necessary to get every member of the crew through a job.

Interests… playing with dinosaur figurines and soaring like a “leaf on the wind.” A constant jokester, Wash is notorious for his habit of goofing off with the model dinosaurs in the cockpit whenever there’s nothing for him to do. Wash also loves flying, meaning that for him work and play are indistinguishable. Most of his non-working time goes into his relationship with his wife, Zoë.

Relationship status… married and loving it. Wash is the husband of Zoë Washburne, a “beautiful woman who could kill [him] with her pinky.” Wash is occasionally jealous of Zoë’s incredibly close relationship with Malcolm Reynolds, and sometimes expresses worry about the fact that he is in many ways the less masculine member in the relationship. Despite these problems, their marriage is incredibly caring and passionate. Wash’s laidback sense of humor nicely complements Zoë’s no-nonsense approach to life.

Challenge… keeping the Serenity and its crew in one piece. Mal and his crew live a dangerous lifestyle, and it requires laser focus and the expertise of a pilot like Wash to keep them alive. But outside of facing his own mortality on a daily basis, Wash doesn’t have many problems. He has a healthy marriage to a beautiful woman, and is friendly with the rest of the crew. If Wash can make it to the next day, he can be pretty sure it will be good one.

Personality… easy-going, funny, and playful. The most laid back member of the crew, Wash has a distinctive and pithy sense of humor. He is often a voice of reason, and is willing to cut-and-run when he thinks the risks outweigh the rewards. However, this commitment to survival should not be confused with cowardice. Wash is fiercely loyal and has proven time and time again that he is willing to risk his life for the good of the crew.


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