Hoban Washburne is more commonly referred to as "Wash". He became a pilot because his home world was so polluted he could not see the sky, and wanted to explore. In flight school, Wash was second in his class. Mr. Universe who had hacked the records of the school was “first”, and offered his assistance at any time, to Wash for him to keep the secret.
When Wash first came to the transport ship Serenity he had, as Mal put it “a list of recommendations as long as my leg”. The second in command, Zoë disliked him when they first met, but that soon changed.
He was married to Zoë Washburne. Wash was often jealous of her close relationship with Captain Reynolds, and disliked the fact that she calls Mal “Sir”. He was very proud of his wife, and they had a strong, loving marriage, even though they were absolute opposites of each other. Zoë took over the traditionally male roles of the marriage due to her strong personality. They had thought about the possibility of having children together.
His piloting style cannot easily be described, and his behavior during flight could range from calm, to panicky. He was very skilled and even managed to pull off a “Crazy Ivan” with the help of the ships engineer, Kaylee. Wash was laid-back and had a very optimistic and child-like personality; he was loyal and could be considered the comic-relief aboard Serenity. He also kept a collection of toy dinosaurs in the cockpit.
"I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar." - Wash
Wash died after he managed to crash land Serenity during a battle. A harpoon launched by Reaver ship impaled his abdomen, killing him instantly. He was buried on Mr. Universe’s moon by the crew of Serenity. The collection of dinosaurs Wash kept in the cockpit, remain intact as a tribute to him.
Hoban Washburne was portrayed by Alan Tudyk is the TV series “Firefly” and in the motion picture “Serenity”.