Silverhawks was essentially a more purely sci-fi version of ThunderCats, which usually leaned more toward sword-and-sorcery fantasy*. It featured the same voice cast, the same animation style, and even characters built on the same basic personality types, most obviously Mumm-Ra and Mon*Star, who both transformed from weak old forms into more powerful ones through an influx of external energy and recitation of similar incantations, like so:
Based on some of the stuff I've written, you'd probably think I'd hate Silverhawks. If you have any knowledge of astronomy whatsoever, the show puts a real strain on your suspension of disbelief, and I suspect that if I hadn't been inoculated with it at a young age, today it would set my rational mind screaming and clawing at the inside of my skull, desperate to get out. At the end of each episode, where G.I. Joe and He-Man would have a moral segment, Silverhawks would have a brief quiz about some facts about space or astronomy; this commitment to science education never quite translated to the actual show, where characters would routinely converse unaided, wander around unprotected, and fall in the vacuum of space.
Despite its scientific shortcomings, I have very fond memories of the show, and I plan to spend a little time each week exploring various aspects of the series, my experiences with it, and so forth, until I run out of ideas or interest.
*Incidentally, what is it about the '80s that lent itself so well to meshing sci-fi and fantasy? I suspect it has to do with the desire to repeat the success of the Star Wars films (which had some fantasy elements, mostly due to cribbing heavily from fairy tales and epics), and some of the fantasy/sword-and-sorcery aspects certainly came out of Conan, but I'm curious what particular confluence of factors made barbarians with laser guns in one hand and broadswords in the other as successful a concept as giant robots that turn into cars, and why that zeitgeist seems to have passed us by almost entirely.