4 September 2015

Editorial: All Hail The Warrior and Her Bard! Xena is 20 YEARS OLD!!

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In the time of ancient Gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was XENA (and Gabrielle). A Mighty Princess (and her bard) forged in the heat of battle and waltzed into our hearts and lives.

We celebrate 20 years of this MAGNIFICENT show.

What a day in our history - in the Xenaverse history. On this day in 1995, Xena began and it has lived on in our fanfic, our videos, our conventions and our friendships.

To ALL Xenites - We are a COMMUNITY that has raised 15 MILLION dollars for charity, have helped one another and have changed our world.

Our world was changed in 1995 and beyond. Who would have thought a little show in New Zealand about a warrior on the quest for redemption who would save a fiesty teenager from slavery and then would change so many lives?

Who would have thought that this tiny show would conquer larger network shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Baywatch?

Who would have thought that this tiny show would have a fandom that is not only thriving (and we are getting new fans coming in – thanks Netflix!) but still continuing the legacy of The Greater Good? We have raised $15 MILLION (that is not a typo) in the last 20 years for charity. 15 MILLION. Think about that. 15 MILLION that would NEVER have been raised if it wasn’t for the Xenaverse.

Who would have thought that 14 years after a show ended, it would still bring in the fans at Conventions. This isn’t Star Trek that has a multimillion dollar franchise. This is our little show that punched (sliced and diced) above it’s weight.

Who would have thought it.

Not Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless, Renee O’Connor, Steven Sears, RJ Stewart, Chris Mannheim, Liz Friedman, Adrienne Wilkinson et al. No not them. They were doing a job and hoping for the best.

The fans? We hoped it would continue and it did: for SIX glorious 22(24) episode seasons. We saw the best and the worst. We stayed when it got rough (gabdrag anyone?), we stayed through Season 5 (Thank you Julius) and we all had a collective meltdown/implosion at the end of Season 6 with A Friend in Need.

Despite all the ups and downs, the subtexters against the maintext, the Joxer fans (poor guys), the Joxer/Gabrielle (oy) fans, the Ares/Xena (oohahhh) fans and everything else thrown in. We were a family. We are a dysfunctional family sometimes but when it REALLY mattered we all combined as one.


  • Lucy’s Jay Leno Accident in October 1996 – the outpouring of love on display (I was on the sidelines for that as a casual observer. I didn’t fall in love with the Warrior until December 1996)
  • Who could forget Lucy and Rob’s wedding: The entire fandom went into protective mode (that was a sight) and didn’t talk about it until after the event.
  • Who can forget The Way protest – talk about a faxing overdrive. Poor Universal copped a hammering over that one
  • Who can forget the Season 6 maybe / maybe not speculation and the campaign to make it happen
  • Who can forget all those AMAZING writers who gave their heart and soul into their fanfic and gave us incredible stories
  • Who can forget Season 3 and the protest over the GabDrag (Poor Steven copped that one a lot) and the SPLIT!
  • Who can forget Season 5 (I wish I could…the entire season…just I am…Married With Fishsticks anyone?)
  • I watch the Xenaverse IMPLODE at the end of A Friend in Need 2. I honestly thought the fandom would rip itself apart but it didn’t. Some ranted (for a good reason), some were horrified (seriously didn’t need to see a headless Xena…honestly I didn’t and I cringe every time someone uses that pic. Drives me crazy), it got VERY ugly (esp. for Rob and Lucy) BUT we survived.
  • Who can forget ALL THAT MONEY that was raised and is still being raised for charity: Starship, The Ellis Foundation and many more. 15 MILLION – that’s a lot of dinars.
  • Who could forget the Writers Strike of 2008 when we supplied OUR writers with drinks and food while they protested
  • Who could forget the Xena March outside NBC on behalf of OUR writers – 7 YEARS after the show ended and we were there in rain, hail and shine (all three happened and sometimes at the same time). Xenites showing the love for OUR writers – we marched, we sang, we protested. Awesome display of unity.
  • Who can forget the Herd Migration as Steven Sears is so fond of calling it. Every year since 1997, Xenites from ALL OVER THE WORLD drove, flew and walked to Los Angeles (or Pasadena) for a 3 day lovein with the cast and crew. We actually didn’t go for the stars. nah. We went to see our friends which included the stars. They were like old friends and we caught up with their lives and we caught up with our friends. What a community. What an absolute joy.


Lucy and Rob sent their congratulations to the fandom today:

Lucy tweeted:
Lucy Lawless ?@RealLucyLawless 7h7 hours ago

20 years since #Xenahit the air. We love and thank you for dancing with us. & for doing great work in your communities. I'm proud of U. <3


Rob Tapert ?@robtapert 6h6 hours ago

From Rob: Thanks to all the fans who helped make the show what it was I'm proud & humbled at what #XenaWP became. Lucy and Renee You Rock!


Whether you are a new fan who has just discovered the show WELCOME! or an Amazon Elder, this show is like no other!

A land in turmoil cried out for a hero (two in fact) and we got them. They changed our world and we will be forever changed because the warrior and her bard created something special.

On this 20th anniversary of this extraordinary show, I say long may the Xenaverse live.


Battle On!!