A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Jonathan Jackson was allegedly on George Lucas's short list of actors to take over the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. At one point, Newsweek even said the former General Hospital teen idol was a virtual shoo-in to play the boy who would be Darth Vader. In the end, the force turned out to be with up-and-coming thesp Hayden Christensen — and Jackson couldn't have been happier.

"I personally wasn't even that excited about doing it, just because I didn't know how comfortable I'd be having my face on Pepsi cans all over the world overnight," Jackson confesses to TV Guide Online. "So, I actually felt like all that went down for the best. Everything happens for a reason.

"I don't really have any connection to Star Wars. I didn't watch [the movies] growing up, so it feels like a different era and a whole different thing," adds the three-time Daytime Emmy winner, who, ironically enough, has been good friends with Christensen ever since they met on the 2000 telepic Trapped in a Purple Haze. "He's a great actor and a really cool guy. I was really happy for him."

Even sans a lightsaber, Jackson's career continues to progress at hyperdrive. Fresh off his role in the hit thriller Insomnia, the 21-year-old Orlando, Fla., native currently can be seen as Alexis Bledel's forever-young suitor in the Disney fairy tale Tuck Everlasting.

His personal life isn't hurting either; in June, Jackson wed fellow GH alum Lisa Vultaggio. "It's wonderful," he says of marriage. "I really believe it's the highest form of love that people can have together. If you have your life together and you have a strong belief in God, then those two things make a marriage work — especially when you're young."