Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Not even the White House is immune to the promotional blitz of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

On Friday, the official release date of the long-awaited seventh installment in the space-fantasy franchise, President Obama both opened and closed his year-end press conference with references to the movie.

“Clearly this is not the most important event that’s taking place at the White House today,” Obama said. “There is a screening of Star Wars for Gold Star families and children [of fallen soldiers] coming up, so I’ll try to be relatively succinct.”

After speaking about “the year behind us and the year ahead” and taking questions from reporters, the president signed off by saying, “Okay, everybody, I’ve got to get to Star Wars.”

Moments later, White House press secretary Josh Earnest emerged for a photo op with two Stormtroopers and R2-D2. “You’ve got to admit, this is pretty cool,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Force Awakens is expected to gross more than $100 million in its first day in North American theaters, which would set a new record for the biggest opening day ever.

Watch a clip from Obama’s press conference above.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)Carrie Fisher as Leia
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
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