'Star Wars' screenwriter Gloria Katz has died.

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

The writer-and-producer - who secretly helped Lucas finish his script for the first movie in the sci-fi franchise, 1977's 'A New Hope' - passed away at the age of 76 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles after a battle with ovarian cancer on Sunday (25.11.18) on what was her 49th wedding anniversary to Willard Huyck.

Katz and Willard's impact on 'Star Wars' included them helping Lucas redefine Carrie Fisher's alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character.

She said: "She can take command; she doesn't take any s**t, but at the same time she's vulnerable ... instead of just a beautiful woman that schlepped along to be saved."

Katz also revealed that Lucas wanted her and her husband to polish what he had created, but didn't want people to know that anyone else had worked on it.

She explained: "He said, 'Polish it - write anything you want and then I'll go over it and see what I need.' George didn't want anyone to know we worked on the script, so we were in a cone of silence."

Katz often collaborated with her spouse Willard on Lucas' movies, including 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' and 'American Graffiti' - which was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Lucas, Huyck and Katz.

The couple met through friends in the 1960s while she was a film student at U.C.L.A. and Willard was studying the same subject at U.S.C. - where he befriended Lucas.