The next "Star Wars" chapter

Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in "Attack of the Clones."

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Actor Ewan McGregor says he's been very lucky as an actor. His career took off with the film "Trainspotting," and he hasn't stopped since.

His film choices have leaned more toward the offbeat than the commercial, but when he was asked to audition for the latest "Star Wars" trilogy, he knew it was something he couldn't pass up.

"I thought about the fact that I am now a father, how I'd felt about the films when I was a kid, you know. And my daughter's now 6, the age I was when I saw the first Star Wars. And I thought, I've never done a film that children have seen, you know. I'm usually having sex or having needles in my arm, or something that disallows children go and watch it for very good reasons, you know. But this would be one that my daughter could watch. I thought that was nice. And then the nearer I got, I just thought, no I really want to do this, I really do. I want to be part of the magical fantasy that is the Star Wars world," says McGregor.

"Star Wars Episode Two: Attack Of The Clones" takes place 10 years after "The Phantom Menace." McGregor once again plays Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi with a major difference: he is now the master.

Tackling the role of young Anakin Skywalker is newcomer Hayden Christensen. "When I took the role, it was a little daunting, knowing the sort of magnitude that this character had in this saga. I just tried really not to project my thoughts there. It really wasn't conducive to doing my best work and so I tried to just focus on discovering the character like I would any other role," says Christensen.

Samuel L. Jackson returns as Jedi Master Mace Windu. He campaigned hard to get into the Star Wars world, and says he would have taken just about any part George Lucas asked.

"So I came over, we met in the big house and he hadn't started the story yet, so he didn't quite know what I was going to do. And he said, 'I know you're a good actor, but you know (if) you're in this, you'll probably be yelling, "Duck! Go that way! Do this! Do that!"' I said, 'Look man, you know you can put me in a storm trooper outfit, as long as I know I'm in it. I don't care if anybody else knows at all,'" remembers Jackson with a chuckle.

"I got there and I looked at the page, and I realized, I'm having a conversation with Yoda. And it said Mace Windu. But it didn't say Jedi, and they said, 'Well, you know go up there and get fitted for your costume.' And I go in and they start pulling out these Jedi robes. Kind of like, 'Oh my God.' It's like, it was so hard to wipe the grin off my face. It was incredible," says Jackson.

Jackson has six films scheduled for release this year and this summer, Christensen and his older brother Tove will produce their first film, in which Christensen will also star.

Actress Natalie Portman returns in Episode II as Padme Amidala, now a senator for her country of Naboo.

"She's grown up a lot. She's not the queen anymore, which allows her more flexibility. She doesn't have to be so rigid anymore because of the rituals that...the job entails. And so physically she's much more relaxed and sort of romantic, and then that allows for some romance in her real life as well," says Portman.

"Attack Of The Clones" is the story of Anakin Skywalker and Amidala's forbidden love against the backdrop of war

Star Wars is a 10-year commitment for Portman. Right now, she's headed back to her Ivy League college to face final exams. But she'll be back at work soon, when George Lucas begins shooting Episode III.

Tuesday, we'll talk to Lucas about his creation.