California Offers $21 Million Subsidy to STAR WARS’ Upcoming Series SKELETON CREW

Screenshot courtesy of The Mandalorian | Official Trailer | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12 via Star Wars YouTube

California Offers $21 Million Subsidy to STAR WARS’ Upcoming Series SKELETON CREW

By Movieguide® Staff

Disney+ continues to produce Star Wars spinoff content after experiencing major success with their limited scripted series like THE MANDALORIAN, THE BAD BATCH and OBI-WAN KENOBI.

California seems to be on board the Star Wars train and offered the company $20.9 million in tax subsidies for the upcoming animated series SKELETON CREW.

According to California Film Commission records, SKELETON CREW is the first Star Wars TV Series to receive state incentives.

“Star Wars: Skeleton Crew is a Disney+ original animated series that follows a group of 10-year-old kids from a small planet who get lost in that galaxy far, far away and must try to find their way home,” IGN reported of the new series.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the new show is also the most expensive production thus far among Star Wars Limited Series:

Star Wars: Skeleton Crew is forecasted to account for the largest qualified spend of the seven series, with nearly $136 million in expenditures during its first season. The show, which was awarded $20.9 million in credits, follows a group of lost kids trying to find their way home. The new addition to the expanding Star Wars universe starring Jude Law and directed by Spider-Man trilogy director Jon Watts is slated for a 2023 Disney+ release.

The state incentives come after the California Legislature agreed to boost program funding with an extra $180 million for 2022 and 2023.

Variety reported: “By 2019, the program had become so crowded with recurring shows that there was no funding available for new ones. The Legislature’s recent appropriation allowed the program to once again issue subsidies to new shows for the first time in three years.”

This new program also resulted from more studios looking outside of California to film, to Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana, to name a few.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Despite Hollywood’s historic roots in California and the present democratic politics ensuring access to abortion for its residents, production companies continue to look elsewhere—even in pro-life states like Texas and Georgia.

This begs the question, why? When it comes down to it, even studios will buck the tide of the entertainment industry’s virtue-signaling culture if it means they can save money.

Economist and professor at Kennesaw State University J.C. Bradbury point out that Georgia’s $1.2 billion tax credit for film and TV production means it’s an attractive destination for production companies despite its restrictions on abortion.

“The subsidies to filming in Georgia are so great,” Bradbury said. “I think it’s going to be very hard for movie companies to turn down filming in Georgia no matter what the political ramifications are.”

However, as Georgia looks to mirror Texas with the establishment of a “heartbeat bill,” some cast and crew members fear that a boycott could become a reality.

Despite the conservative values of the state of Georgia as a whole, the film community in Atlanta said that legislators could expect a boycott from individual filmmakers as opposed to entire studios—a strategy evidenced in 2019 when BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR “relocated out of Georgia due to the abortion bill,” Variety reported.

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