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I read this novel or novelisation one afternoon at the city library somewhere between late 1984 and early 1986.

It was set in the Star Wars universe and the main story was that there was some sort of crystal on a planet that could amplify /boost the power of a force-user/adept.

Luke and Leia are both on the planet where this crystal is and are trying to stop the Empire, specifically Darth Vader, getting hold of it.

I think they find a small splintered-off piece of the crystal early on and find that it works as advertised and are then terrified of what the whole thing would be able to do.

At one point Luke is incapacitated or they get separated (not sure which) and Leia faces Vader alone. She has this total BAMF moment where she fights Vader with a lightsaber and drops him off a cliff.

I don't remember the ending or much else of it, although I think the crystal was either destroyed or buried beyond any force user's ability to retrieve.

Sorry I don't have more details, but I was only 13 or 14, and speed read it in under two hours while waiting for a friend to finish at the dentist, and it seems like another lifetime.


Edit:

Now that we know the answer, here are some other key events and terms to help other people who may be looking for the same thing and that was not in my original question (taken from Wikipedia, Del Rey website, quotes from the ebook, etc.)

  • Luke doesn't know Leia is his sister and story has some romantic undertones between them
  • Luke and Leia are on their way to a meeting on Circarpous IV when they are forced to land on Mimban (Circarpous V)
  • Luke slaps Leia and calls her a servant girl to avert suspicion
  • Luke falls into the mud, and pulls Leia down with him
  • Luke and Leia wrestle / play-fight in the mud
  • Luke and Leia hear about the Kaiburr crystal from an old woman called Halla and are shown a splinter of it
  • Luke and Leia find an abandoned, underground city, where they are stalked and attacked by Coway natives.
  • To save his friends, Luke fights and defeats the Coway's champion fighter.
  • After the Imperials are pushed back by the Coway Darth Vader kills Captain-Supervisor Grammel for the defeat
  • Luke's leg is pinned under rubble
  • Leia takes Luke's lightsaber and fights Darth Vader.
  • Luke severs Darth Vader's arm.
  • Vader falls into a pit
  • Luke and Leia's injuries are healed by the crystal

C3PO quote:

"But what if Master Luke is correct and there is no station below? We could find ourselves marooned forever on this empty world, without companionship, without knowledge tapes, without … without lubricants!”

21

The crystal bit sounds like Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a very early Star Wars novel written by Alan Dean Foster when it wasn't for sure the second movie would be made.

I haven't read it since it came out, but the linked wiki article says the end is

Luke then duels Vader, deflecting some Force-based attacks and eventually slicing off Vader's arm. Despite this, the Sith lord seems about to win, but then falls into a pit. Luke senses that this is not the end of Vader. He and Leia, healed by the crystal, drive off with Halla into the mists of Mimban.

Maybe the "falls into the pit" is the BAMF moment you remember.

Wookiepedia also has a lot of detail on the book, but here is the summary:

Splinter of the Mind's Eye, formerly subtitled From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, is a Star Wars Legends novel written by Alan Dean Foster. It acts as a sequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Foster wrote the novelization of, and it was the first installment of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The novel was first published by Del Rey on February 12, 1978.

Set in 2 ABY, Splinter of the Mind's Eye follows Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa to the planet Mimban, where they seek out the powerful Kaiburr crystal and encounter Darth Vader.

Cover:

Original Edition Cover

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    It pretty much has to be Splinter. According to this list of Star Wars novels (which pretty much agrees with my memory), Splinter was the only official non-movie Star Wars novel that was focused on Luke and Leia released before 1990. – DavidW Dec 2 '20 at 14:50
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    Yup. I belive this is right. Now I'll need to buy the ebook to make sure, but I can't find anything else and that sounds about right. I remember Leia fighting Vader, but could have sworn she kicked or shoved him of the edge of a cliff. Oh well, just a glitch in my memory I suppose. – Gwyn Dec 2 '20 at 15:17
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    ^_^ It's also the one that, because Lucas hadn't confirmed they were related (and, honestly, probably hadn't actually decided on that twist), features Luke and Leia wrestling in the mud and a rather wistful description by Luke of how desirable her sleeping form looked as per bluemilkspecial.com/comic/splinter-of-the-minds-eye-part-5. – FuzzyBoots Dec 2 '20 at 15:32
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    I actually still own the book, but it's 1000 miles away at my parents' house. – Organic Marble Dec 2 '20 at 15:51
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    @Gwyn just a suggestion, but maybe that stuff would be better to add to the answer, instead of the question. Feel free to edit the answer if you like. – Organic Marble Dec 2 '20 at 16:54

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