George Lucas has paid tribute to late screenwriter Gloria Katz for her ability to ''smartly forward the female point of view'' on screen.

Katz passed away at the age of 76 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles after a battle with ovarian cancer on November 25 on what was her 49th wedding anniversary to husband and collaborator Willard Huyck.

The couple worked with Lucas, 74, on several movies, including coming-of-age comedy 'American Graffiti', 'Howard the Duck' and 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom', and they also secretly helped him finish his script for 1977's 'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope'.

Remembering her unique contributions to the movies they worked on together, Lucas spoke about her ability to create comedy and also write fully rounded female characters.

He told the New York Times newspaper: ''Gloria was great in her writing and humor in terms of creating character and smartly forwarding the female point of view which she did on both 'American Graffiti' and 'Howard the Duck,' along with a dialogue polish on 'Star Wars' that was just plain funny.''

Katz's impact on 'Star Wars' included her helping Lucas redefine Carrie Fisher's alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character and as heroic as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford)

Speaking about her contribution, Katz had 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.''