|Everybody who has watched at least one episode of Buck Rogers' second season will remember Hawk, Buck's silent sidekick. But what do we really know about Hawk? How did he join Searcher and become friends with Buck? Why was he (almost) never cheerful? And where did he get that fancy ship? Most of these questions were answered in the season's first episode, Time of the Hawk. A short recapitulation.
A lone survivor
When the Searcher comes across a space freighter destroyed by Hawk, Buck Rogers is sent out to stop him. In an attempt to lure Hawk out of hiding, Buck abducts Koori from their home at the Valley of Eagles. This leads to a mighty dogfight between Hawk and Buck, in which Koori is accidentally injured. Hawk and Buck join forces to get her to help, but Koori dies nevertheless. Hawk is now the last of his race -- he has lost everyone he loved, and the pain of this will never leave him.
When Hawk refuses to speak before the Galactic Court, Buck jumps to his defense. In a moving plea, he manages to convince the Court that Hawk should be allowed to join the Searcher crew, instead of being sentenced. Hawk's mission can be the same as theirs: to search for others of his race. After some encouragement by his new friends, and helped by the thought of Koori, Hawk finally agrees to start a new life aboard Searcher.
Trust and friendship
Since the events of Time of the Hawk, a special friendship has developed between Hawk and Buck -- both alone, "out of time, out of place". They strongly rely on each other, and Hawk is often seen helping Buck out of a tight spot (Mark of the Saurian, The Golden Man). When Buck is accused of being responsible for the 20th Century's World War III (Testimony of a Traitor), Hawk risks another trial to help him prove his innocence.
Although Hawk is very much at ease with Buck, he tends to keep a polite distance from the rest of the crew. Nevertheless, in all his actions he shows a deep care not only for Buck, but also for Wilma and Dr. Goodfellow.
It is never explained how the bird people managed to reach the stars. Presumably they did not fly there on their own wings, which means that they must have been able to build spaceships when the human race was still in its infancy. However, given their advanced technology, it seems quite strange that they were unable to defend themselves against a bunch of primitive humans. Let's just say that this remains one of the many unsolved mysteries of Easter Island.
It seems that Hawk's ship must have been custom-built for him, and this raises the question where he got the money to pay for it. One possible explanation is that he has earned it flying as a pilot; however, it seems unlikely that a pilot's wages would have been sufficient for a ship such as this. Another unanswered question...