The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an article discussing the seven shows that will be receiving tax incentives for shooting in California, and among them is Star Wars: Skeleton Crew.
The show is reported to have been awarded $20.9 million in tax credits, which helps helps considerably for the show’s sizable budget: THR says the first season has a budget of nearly $136 million.
Budget numbers are notoriously hard to come by and are quite difficult to pin down with precision, but the first season of The Mandalorian was reported to have a budget of around $100 million, to give a frame of reference. So for the first season of a show like this to receive the kind of budget it has is impressive.
There could be a relatively simple reason for its larger budget: based on concept art, it looks possible that one of the main characters might be an alien species (humanoid, but non-human). Grogu is a major character in The Mandalorian, but besides him all of the main characters in every Star Wars show have been human (and this is not a criticism, as those shows have been well-done and have featured plenty of aliens). So if this series has one of the most prominent characters be an alien, it could easily explain why it has a bit of a higher budget. That’s just speculation on my part, but it makes sense to me.
Another reason, of course, is that it’s the latest installment from the Jon Favreau/Dave Filoni Mandoverse, and their proven track record makes it understandable that future shows they embark on may receive higher starting budgets. There’s likely a high level of trust and confidence in them, and rightly so.
Skeleton Crew will release in 2023 on Disney+. The show is directed by Jon Watts and stars Jude Law in a series about a group of kids who get lost in the galaxy and need to find their way back home. It is set within the same time period as The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, and both Favreau and Filoni are serving as executive producers on this show as well.