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Star Wars’ New Disney+ Show Reportedly More Expensive Than The Mandalorian

Jude Law alongside leads from The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and Andor.
By Morgan Ambrose

Star Wars' presence on Disney+ continues to expand, even if slightly slower than its MCU counterpart. After two fantastic seasons of The Mandalorian, shows have branched off into spin-offs like The Book of Boba Fett and all new series like Obi-Wan Kenobi and the upcoming Andor. One series that has slipped through the cracks a bit so far is Skeleton Crew, which is set to star Jude Law.

Skeleton Crew, like The Mandalorian and its spin-offs, will be set in the post-Return of the Jedi era. The show will focus on the story of a ship lost in space and the journey of four children aboard it trying to find their way home. Series creator Jon Watts has also been keen to point out that while Skeleton Crew will have children in lead roles, it is "not a kids show." This could perhaps draw a parallel to Netflix's breakout hit Stranger Things, though it's likely that the Star Wars show will include slightly fewer eldritch horrors.

While the show has gone under the radar for many, Lucasfilm is clearly putting their faith in it as reports indicate it will have a substantial budget.

Skeleton Crew Set to Cost More Than The Mandalorian

Star Wars

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Skeleton Crew is pushing $136 million to produce. While that number is already high, it's made all the more interesting when it's compared to the figures for the first season of The Mandalorian. 

2019 reports from Business Insider put The Mandalorian Season 1's cost at ~$100 million, while Washington Post gave the figure of $15 million an episode, bringing the total to $120 million. While inflation and increased across-the-board expenses could account for some of the price difference, the fact remains that, in a comparison of first-season budgets, Skeleton Crew has the higher figure.

Hopes Are High For Star Wars on Disney+

Skeleton Crew Concept Art
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew concept art

It absolutely cannot be overstated how important The Mandalorian was for Disney+ as a platform. As the first original series to premiere there, its success was absolutely crucial. Ultimately, it succeeded in being both a financial and critical success and spawned a cultural phenomenon that brought new life into Star Wars as a property. The future of the franchise is largely still being shaped by The Mandalorian.

What this goes to say is that there was a lot riding on the series to prove what Disney+ shows could be, and so the incredible budget it was given was very important. To see that Skeleton Crew, a show that currently has no obvious ties to other Star Wars series like The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka have, goes a long way in demonstrating just how much good faith there is for Star Wars on the platform. 

Skeleton Crew, like The Acolyte, is one of only a few projects in the works that don't have direct ties to other major Star Wars media. Andor is connected directly to Rogue One and potentially indirectly to RebelsBad Batch is a Clone Wars spin-off, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was connected to, well, just about everything. That difference is, in this writer's opinion, crucial.

While The Mandalorian has spawned a sort of universe of its own and has become deeply entangled in the wider Star Wars pantheon, it began as just a single man in chrome beskar tracking a bounty. Din was a nameless, faceless protagonist on a sort of monster-of-the-week adventure for much of its first season, and that paved the way for what it would become. Once upon a time, its disconnectedness was its selling point, not a detractor.

The size and scope of the Star Wars galaxy make it a huge canvas for all kinds of stories, and Skeleton Crew may well be fans' first glimpse at a different side of that galaxy far, far away when it debuts in 2023.