Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Tweek organize a group to protest the "updating" of classic films such as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the original Star Wars. Cartman tries to pump up attendance at their first meeting by writing "Free Hat" at the bottom of their posters.
Hundreds turn out, under the mistaken impression that the group wants to free imprisoned South Park resident Hat McCullogh, a baby murderer sent to prison in 1982. Not wanting to lose their supporters, the boys offer to free Hat AND save classic movies from their creators. The crowd rallies to their cause.
During an appearance on Nightline, Kyle inadvertently gives Steven Spielberg and George Lucas the idea of updating Raiders of the Lost Ark. To stop this travesty, the boys fly to California and raid Skywalker Ranch, hoping to steal the film's original negative. But they're caught, taken prisoner, and forced to attend the first viewing of the digitally enhanced Raiders.
Tweek tries to disrupt the premier by threatening to fire a rocket launcher at the movie print, but is instead taken prisoner as well.
Finally, the film debuts. It's so horrible that it kills the entire audience, Spielberg and Lucas included. The boys survive by closing their eyes, and return to South Park for a hero's welcome.
Unfortunately, they soon discover they're being honored not for saving movies, but for helping to free Hat McCullogh.
What I Learned Today
"Sometimes the things we do don't matter right now. Sometimes they matter later. We have to care more about later sometimes, you know? I think that's what separates us from the Steven Spielbergs and George Lucases of the world."
- "What do you see as 'positive' about toddler murder?" Ted Koppel
- "We're just gonna fly to California and break into George Lucas' house. What's stressful about that?" Kyle
- "I told you guys. Never underestimate the power of a free hat." Cartman
- "We believe that films have to be taken away from people like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas because they're insane." Kyle
- "Hat was attacked maliciously and unprovoked by a gang of babies in Westown Park. When that many babies get together, they can be like piranha." Skeeter
- "Yeah! Maybe we could melt the Governor's heart with a cool island song!" Redneck
- "We are simply passing through history. This is IMPROVED history." Steven Spielberg
- "Give that man a baby!" Skeeter
Spielberg and Lucas, who return in later seasons (most notably in "The China Probrem").
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, although both will be seen again in later episodes. Also Francis Ford Coppola and the entire audience viewing the "improved" Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The townspeople of South Park try to melt the Governor's icy heart with the hot Caribbean song "In The Tropical Isles."
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The concept voiced Trey and Matt's horror at how poorly the new Star Wars movies turned out -- and their disgust that Lucas and Spielberg kept altering and updating their old films. Afterward Matt and Trey heard through the grapevine that Spielberg, who was actually considering messing with Raiders of the Lost Ark, had dropped the idea.
Pop Culture References
Tweek's attempt to blow up the movie print is a recreation of the famous Raiders of the Lost Ark scene, as is the finale when all the film's viewers die. The ending to the episode, where the chest is wheeled into a massive, endless storage facility, is also a parody of Radiers -- only this storage facility is for the "Red Cross 9/11 Relief Fund." Also, Lucas' statement that "It is too late for me boys," is taken from Return of the Jedi.
The new, redone versions of Spielberg/Lucas films are mocked: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Saving Private Ryan: The Re-Re-Release, and The Re-Re-Re-Release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In fact, the joke of "guns being digitally changed to walkie talkies" (which actually happened in the re-release of E.T.) is used throughout the entire episode -- all the "guns" are animated as walkie talkies.
Spielberg and Lucas. Also Pat O'Brien, who hosts a show called Excess Hollywood, and Francis Ford Coppola, who serves as a minion of Spielberg. Ted Koppel also makes an appearance hosting his show Nightline.
When the boys break into Skywalker Ranch to steal the Raiders of the Lost Ark print, they find a shelf of other "enhanced" films, including: First Day of School Digitally Enhanced, Wedding Video Digitally Enhanced, and Kids' First Swimming Lesson w/ Digitally Enhanced Weather. Lucas' Ranch is filled with Star Wars paraphernalia, including a picture with George Lucas and Jar Jar Binks (from Star War Episode 1) hanging on the wall.
This is not the first time Cartman has used free prizes to lure in people to his cause. He has also offered "punch and pie" on several occasions, most notably in the movie Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
This episode features a fake commercial for the digitally enhanced Re-Release of Episode 1, in which all of the crude animation is totally redone to feature absurd computer graphics. It also features live-action footage of Trey Parker and Matt Stone discussing the "necessary changes" they've made. This is the only time the two have physically appeared in the show.
- e1 Freak Strike
- e2 Jared Has Aides
- e3 Asspen
- e4 The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer
- e5 Fun with Veal
- e6 Professor Chaos (episode)
- e7 The Simpsons Already Did It
- e8 Red Hot Catholic Love
- e9 Free Hat
- e10 Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society
- e11 Child Abduction is Not Funny
- e12 A Ladder to Heaven
- e13 The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
- e14 The Death Camp of Tolerance
- e15 The Biggest Douche in the Universe
- e16 My Future Self 'n' Me
- e17 Red Sleigh Down