A prominent man in the Star Wars universe, Gary Kurtz, passed away on Sept. 23 following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 78.

Kurtz produced ​A New Hope (1977), and ​The Empire Strikes Back (1980), both major fan-favorites in the franchise. Besides his work in a galaxy far, far away, Kurtz also produced cult film The Dark Crystal (1982), and co-produced George Lucas’ American Graffiti (1973).

The producer’s death was confirmed today in a Facebook post.