Continuing the Star Wars legacy isn't just an opportunity to make a truly massive amount of money for Disney chief Bob Iger; he also says it's one of the proudest moments in the studio's history.
Deadline quotes Iger as calling the film "one of the proudest and most exciting moments in our company's history."
"In a business like ours, driven by creativity and innovation, nothing is more important than the men and women who dream of new possibilities, set new standards of excellence, and create new opportunities, then work together to achieve them," Iger wrote. "And we're so fortunate to have thousands of cast members and employees around the world who accept the challenge and embody that spirit."
The film is expected to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million this weekend, and may break a host of domestic and international box office records.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015, kicking off a new trilogy of Saga films as Episodes VIII and IX are already scheduled.