"It was in some ways the hardest movie I ever had to do because the relationships that you see on film are so real," Diesel, 47, said. "When the tragedy happened, I lost my best friend. I lost my brother."
"Please from my heart, know that we made this movie from our hearts," Diesel continued. "And know that this is our gift to you and more importantly, it's for my brother there." He then pointed to an image of Walker behind him on the screen.
Walker's sudden death in a car crash in 2013 delayed the film, which was then in the middle of production, as the cast and studio worked to ensure Furious 7 would be a fitting send-off for the actor.
In a Facebook post soon after the crash, Diesel said he went almost directly to Walker's mom.
"His mother hugged me and said, 'I am so sorry.' I said, 'Sorry? You're the mother who lost a son' ... She said, 'Yes, but you lost your other half.' "