But when Tina Fey met Carrie Fisher, it was a dream come true. Ironically, Fisher played Rosemary Howard, Liz Lemon’s wacky childhood idol in the second season of NBC’s 30 Rock. And while she didn’t help Liz get her movie screenwriting career off the ground, she did help her realize her full potential as head writer of the sketch variety series TGS with Tracy Jordan.
Critics and viewers lauded Fisher’s guest-starring role in Season 2. The actress received her first Emmy nomination for the appearance, but lost to Desperate Housewives‘ Kathryn Joosten.
One year after Fisher’s guest appearance on 30 Rock, Fey made a reference to the actress’ most iconic role. In the show’s third season, Liz wore a Princess Leia costume while trying to get out of jury duty. “I don’t really think it’s fair for me to be on a jury because I’m a hologram,” she told a judge, to no avail. Later, while speaking to a police officer, Liz said, “Excuse me, Imperial Guard. How long do these arson trials typically last?” Her attempt to be dismissed was, of course, futile. “Ugh!” Liz sighed. “This used to get me out of jury duty in Chicago all the time.”
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“But your hair!” he protested.
“I’m a princess!” Liz hissed.
Like Fey, Fisher was also a renowned screenwriter. Like many in Hollywood, Fey decided to share her memories of Fisher in the wake of the legendary Star Wars actress’ death at age 60.
“Carrie Fisher meant a lot to me. Like many women my age, Princess Leia occupies about sixty percent of my brain at any given time,” the 46-year-old Sisters actress told TIME in a statement Tuesday. “But Carrie’s honest writing and her razor-sharp wit were an even greater gift.”
Fey added, “I feel so lucky that I got to meet her. I’m very sad she is gone.”
Last year, after Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered, Fisher took critics to task for commenting on her age. “Please stop debating about whether or not [I] aged well,” she wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have.”
“I thought it was heartbreaking, and also smart of Carrie to be, like, ‘This hurts,'” Fey later told Town & Country. “Because a lot of times we talk about the politics of it, the unfairness of it, which is all true, but I think it’s clearer to people when you go, ‘Hey, that hurts my feelings.'”