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'South Park' vs. Lucas and Spielberg: Too far?


Never mind "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," the most welcome Comedy Central program this election season just might be "South Park."

The series has been on a roll for the past four/five seasons, and whether turning an alien invasion into an examination of immigration, or leprechauns into targets of terrorism, "South Park" has been presenting relatively reasoned examinations of cultural issues.

Until, perhaps, last night. "South Park" has missed out on skewering this summer's pop-culture events, and last night, the episode was on the attack. As dark and twisted as "The Dark Knight" was, "South Park" was just as aggressively over the top.

Returning with new episodes as part of its 12th season, "South Park" didn't level its aim at presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain (fingers are crossed for such an episode to be forthcoming). Instead, the series had Hollywood heavyweights George Lucas and Steven Spielberg directly in sights.

Oh, there was also a paranoid Cartman convinced that China's Olympic opening ceremony telegraphed an attack on the United States, but Cartman's mockery of Chinese stereotypes was almost an afterthought after Matt Stone and Trey Parker completely dismantled the worldwide hit "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

"We all saw it happen," says the handicapped Jimmy, discussing "The Crystal Skull" as if it's a personal tragedy. "Do you remember that scene with Indiana in the refrigerator? It didn't make any sense, Stan."

From there, an excited Stan sits down to watch the latest film in a dream sequence/nightmare, but soon has to warn Indiana Jones that Spielberg and Lucas are nearby. And then in a series of film parodies, Indy's pants come off.


The boys of "South Park" spend much of the episode struggling to come to grips with the raping of Indiana Jones. In its rave review of the episode, IGN wrote that "South Park" went "beyond offensive and into some sort of hyper-offensive stratosphere," all of it hilarious.

Indeed, each scene builds upon the other, with Spielberg and Lucas eventually becoming two rednecks in the woods who demand Indy "squeal like a pig" as the pair humiliates and degrades a cinematic icon. A Stormtrooper gets it even worse, prompting the "South Park" police to lock up the directors to prevent such travesties from happening again.

Not that anyone didn't see this coming. Parker and Stone tried to warn Spielberg and Lucas from even making a fourth "Indiana Jones" flick. Back in 2002, the series took the two to task for re-editing their films for the worse, hoping to prevent a ruining of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

But was continually -- and graphically -- having Spielberg and Lucas violently rape Indiana Jones too far? "He's gonna do it right there!" shouts a cartoon Spielberg in one scene, holding back Indy's hands over a pinball machine. Or was seeing a Stormtrooper completely defiled still easier to swallow than having to watch Shia LaBeouf swing like a monkey, or worse, inserting aliens into the film?

Show Tracker put a call in to Lucasfilm to try to get their thoughts (ha!), but in the meantime, do you side with "South Park," or those behind the "Crystal Skull" on this one? Coming a few days after The Times' Hero Complex wrote that "Indy 5" is still a possibility, it might be time to make your voice known. 

-- Todd Martens

Photos: http://www.southparkstudios.com/

Comments () | Archives (302)

This particular rape humor will never meet the criticism it would have if it were a woman being raped. It's like kicking a man in the groin: always funny. Kick a woman in the groin: not so much.

This episode was classic! They put into a cartoon what people across the country have wanted to say since May.

Indiana Jones 4 was an injustice to everyone involved, and everyone that bought a ticket.

Graphic? Yes
Over the top? Yes
Hilarious and true? Yes

George Lucas raped Star Wars with his new movies.
Steve Spielberg did the same with Indy.

Dailyshow/Colbert are jokes. They've become nothing but political tools.
Southpark is one of a kind. Can't beat.

If South Park had put President Bush in Indi's place it would be accepted as humorous free speech.

Get a life! You are free to stop watching South Park as much as the rape victims who may have been offended by this episode. All you want is less, less, less, less, less humor! Leave Matt & Trey alone!!!!

It's - a - cartoon.


Clearly the author of this column did not see the inter-relation of the Cartman China story with the Indy 4 skewer. It seemed obvious to me that Parker and Stone were pointing out that America and it's icons are devoid of originality and imagination and China is waiting in the wings ready to take the lead.

I can't believe I am the only one who saw this. The whole Indy 4 thing was not just a skewer of Spielberg and Lucas but a nod to what is going on in America. The truth of it breaks my heart.

I guess the fact that the author of this column did not see this obvious meaning it is even further evidence of America's decline.

Hollywood can sure dish it out, but they can't take it, can they?

The Crystal Skull was an embarrassment and should never have been released in that form - not because it had aliens in it - but because the script at the heart of the film was terrible. The franchise deserved better, but they went ahead with it anyway for the money. South Park is spot on.

Loved it! Thats all I have to say.

Wow, it is amazing the mental and techical-linguistic gymnastics that folks are going thru in order to justify a rape scene. Even if it is a cartoon rape the premise behind such an act is fundamentally wrong, yet so many are lining up to justify rape as a something the character has coming to them based on their own past actions. (especially disturbing when rape is justified based someone's opinion regarding the story line in an entertainment vehicle, or the choice of an actor to participate in that vehicle for whatever personal reasons) If rape can be justified here in this instance where it is only an image... then any rape can be justified. Situational ethics do not apply here, rape is wrong... period. If any rape can be justified then all rapes can be justified. But if your worldview subscribes to "the only rule is there are no rules" and you do not believe in any moral absolutes then you can justify anything. Torture of babies? Genocide? Racism? In fact if there are no moral absolutes what prevents anarchy? At some point, when it gets personal, and invades your world, even the most die hard among us will cry, "STOP... it's not right...it's not fair!" But by then who will care?

I liked the new Indy movie.

Has anyone at the L.A. Times ever seen South Park before this? For all Matt and Trey have done on that show, the Times think that the lampooning of Spielberg and Lucas is the one that went to far?? That's rich.

that episode was not only funny but true...once talented director and producer. now have ruined the legacy of their previous films...the new star wars and indy's movies were just cash cows and nothing else...no talent... no plot... just garbage

There's a reason it's TV-MA, if you can't handle rape as a subject matter you shouldn't watch South Park. Simple enough.

funny thing....anyone who was so offended by this episode...how did you feel when SNL did a Palin skit, that was about Incest? Aren't you offended? Didn't they cross the LINE?
Why would they reedit a simple skit about rich folks- and state it didn't meet their standards(HA!) but leave something like incest in a skit- did that meet their standard?

So let me get this straight -- "South Park" vs. Spielberg and Lucas may have gone "too far?"

What about "South Park" vs. the Blessed Mother?

You mean after ripping on the Virgin Mary, the Pope, gingers, cripples, mentally challenged, emulating Hitler, and dedicating an episode to the largest crap ever taken? And SS and Lucas being made fun of for destroying their own creations- raping Indiana Jones, which is essentially what happened- is going too far? Man, LA really is afraid of these guys huh?

I thought that the ecstasy on George Lucas' face was wonderfully rendered. His passionate orgasm at raping Indy was so boldly extreme in its rendition as be its own classic adaptation that may well be homaged for its contribution to cinema.

The point was to make the episode disturbing and unwatchable...
Just like Indiana Jones was to them.

There is a lot of genius in South Park.

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