28 June 2001
Xena Creator Defends End
Rob Tapert--co-creator and executive producer of Xena: Warrior Princess--defended to E! Online the series' finale last week, in which the titular heroine (played by Tapert's wife, Lucy Lawless) met her demise. Fans have criticized the finale, in which Xena was shot with arrows and eventually decapitated to save the inhabitants of a Japanese village.
Tapert told E! that the reaction was "exactly what we thought it would be." He added, "We certainly have taken the heat. I have a friend who sends me e-mails, and I've gotten some faxes from people and letters. And people have had a very mixed reaction. But the finale was really based on where the series started, and it seemed to complete her journey looking for redemption."
Tapert, who wrote the finale with co-executive producer R.J. Stewart, added, "I thought Xena dying in the midst of battle worked for me. People would say it was too ignominious to have her dragged around like a slab of beef, but I think it was what fueled Gabrielle to take the steps to be motivated. I really thought Xena's death was appropriate. You don't really want to upset people, but we knew it would be emotional for the right reasons."
As for the future of the Xena franchise after six years of syndicated television, Tapert said, "This is about the fifth time that Xena has died in the series, so I'm not worried about the franchise ending."
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