A lot of fans had reservations about Solo: A Star Wars Story when it was first announced, and it seems as if that sentiment was shared, at least initially, by none other than Jonathan Kasdan, one of the writers.
Jonathan wrote the script along with his father, Lawrence Kasdan, who is the veteran of several other films in the franchise. Apparently the younger man was not sure about this particular project, however, according to comments he made in the tie-in book The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“I was ambivalent about doing it with him because I was skeptical there was a good movie in the story of Han’s youth,” he wrote. “I don’t tend to like prequels because there’s little to no suspense about whether the hero will survive; of course he will. We see him later.”
He says that he changed his opinion after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was Harrison Ford’s last entry in the franchise. Aside from the fact that this meant there would not be two actors performing the part simultaneously, it seems to have given the younger Kasdan an appreciation of the character’s “essential humanism,” and he says that he began to notice “thematic undercurrents” between Solo and the established movies.
That initial reluctance was shared by fans, however, and unlike Kasdan, many of them did not warm up to the idea―the lead-up to the movie had many fans wondering if the story was really necessary, and it has been performing poorly at the box office since it came out. Given that it was the most expensive Star Wars movie to make, it is currently expected to lose Lucasfilm something like $50 million.
That said, people who did see the movie generally agree that it was a fine (if not extraordinary) entry into the franchise, and did manage to add some depth to Han Solo (now played by Alden Enhrenreich) as a character. We see that he had been burned years before by Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), but puts on the stoic face that Luke Skywalker would later have to break through. His faith in her redemption parallels that of his own son in the newer movies.
In short, Kasdan may have been right on both counts: the prequel was a questionable idea, but still had at least some potential.