McGregor the Jedi revels in 'Empire' award

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The Independent Culture

Ewan McGregor was last night named best British film actor for the fourth time, as the first pictures were released of him on the set of the latest Star Wars movie by Vanity Fair magazine.

McGregor collected his award for Moulin Rouge at the seventh Empire Awards but it is his part as the Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi which is likely to be one of the most closely scrutinised roles of the year.

George Lucas's latest Star Wars epic, Episode II – Attack of the Clones, is due for release later this year. The new film follows the 1977 original, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Episode I – The Phantom Menace, which took the saga back in time.

Lucas has announced that he will stop work on the series after finishing Episode III, which is not due for release for several years.

He will be hoping to repeat the success at the box office, if not critically, of The Phantom Menace which broke first-day records in the United States and became the third highest grossing film in history behind Star Wars and Titanic.

George Lucas told Vanity Fair: "I wouldn't say it's a dark film, but the next one is definitely going to be a dark film... it appears at that point in time that the Empire wins."

Attack of the Clones marks a diversion for Lucas as it features the nearest he has got to a full-blown love story in the sagas featuring Natalie Portman's role of Queen Amidala, and Anakin Skywalker, played by actor Hayden Christensen.