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I watched a few episodes of this series in the 90's or 2000's, I'm in France so I'm quite certain the series aired earlier on US channels.

The main character was some sort of ship captain battling against some villain on a mostly destroyed planet. I remember the fighting scenes on screen being very reminiscent of Star Wars IV and VI when they fight in and around the Death Stars, ships zooming all around and firing while manoeuvring through half-destroyed scaffolding with turrets everywhere. It usually looked like a mix between the famous trench run and the half constructed second space station.

I think they used early CGI for the cartoon, not only the fight scene but for the characters and maybe even the landscape of the planet, but I could be mistaken.

I also remember that they sold a toy ship, that must have been the ship of the main protagonist, but I'm not completely sure, that was advertised as allowing you to take part in the battle. I believe it had some sort of sensor built-in and would react to shots fired on screen by making the figure of the pilot pop out of the cockpit.

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    When reading your question, I recalled (also in France, in the 80's) a cartoon where the viewers (younger children) would cut out some shapes and place them on the TV screen. They would stick due to static electricity. I do not remember much more but this certainly not the show you have in mind (it brings nice memories, though, of the shapes we were cutting with my brother to make sure we help to save the world or something) – WoJ Nov 26 '18 at 12:24
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I also think it's Captain Power, except that there ARE Captain Power cartoons: the VHS casettes "Future Forces Training," "Bio Dread Strike Mission," and "Raid on Volcania." They're fixtures of my childhood. The trench run is probably the Volcania raid, which is predominantly inside the Volcania pyramid structure.

All three have live action intros and outros, but the bulk of each video is animated.

Youtube Links:

  • This answer might have been better as a comment on the existing answer – Valorum Nov 25 '18 at 9:42
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    @Valorum It adds too much value to fit as a comment. – Tim B Nov 25 '18 at 18:02
  • @TimB - Possibly an edit then. Re-identifying the same property isn't much of a feat – Valorum Nov 25 '18 at 18:36
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    @Valorum I respectfully disagree. The OP asked for a cartoon. The first answer said "Captain Power but that is not a cartoon". This says "Actually CP does exist as a cartoon". It adds a more detailed answer and highlights specific episodes. – Tim B Nov 25 '18 at 19:05
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This wasn't a cartoon (there was some CGI overlap but it was basically live action), but in the late '80's there was a sci-fi show called Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.

The show involved humans using high-tech "power suits" to fight a global empire of robots led by a cyborg named Lord Dread. It had a toy line as well, including toy fighter jets you could point at the screen and zap the bad guys, if I remember the commercials right the figures on the screen could zap you right back. The trench scene you described might have been the end credits.

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