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"I like this thing."
―Han Solo, after trying Chewbacca's bowcaster on Takodana[7]

A bowcaster, also known as a laser crossbow,[8] was a type of traditional, handcrafted projectile weapon commonly used by Wookiees.



A side view of a bowcaster

Through the use of magnetic acceleration, bowcasters were more powerful and accurate than the average blaster. Designs differed through the materials used and the creator's artistic approach, although the end result was visually similar to a crossbow-like weapon.[2] Bowcasters were usually handcrafted, however some popular models are mass-produced in workshops all over Kashyyyk.[1]

The weapon used metal quarrels enveloped with plasma energy[2] as ammunition.[1] Two polarizing orbs, balanced on each end of the bow, created a magnetic field that boosted the quarrel's momentum. Once the cocking spring was pulled back, the trigger fired the quarrel, which was enveloped in plasma energy.[1]

The last (known) bowcaster to be crafted by Chewbacca, a Wookiee warrior and Rebel hero, was created during Galactic Empire era. Chewbacca unconventionally crafted the weapon using the frame and power pack of a standard stormtrooper blaster;[1] additionally, Chewbacca also fitted it with an automatic cocking system, a feature traditional models of the time lacked.[9]

Bowcaster Wookiee SWL

A Wookiee warrior firing his bowcaster

Bowcasters were much more powerful than standard blaster rifles, but also much heavier, meaning few humans were capable of carrying one around, let alone hold it level and steady for a precise shot.[10] To fire comfortably, the strength of a Wookiee was required.[8] However, this statistic was challenged by Han Solo, who was in his sixties at this time, on numerous occasions during the cold war, in which he became fond of the weapon and have somehow developed the strength to use the weapon despite his age.[7]


Bowcasters were based on ancient weapons from Wookiee history that fired poisoned darts and arrows.[1] During the Clone Wars, the bounty hunter Embo used a bowcaster as his favored weapon.[11] At the end of the war, bowcasters were also used in the Battle of Kashyyyk.[4] Chewbacca crafted several of them over time.[1]


Han Solo used Chewbacca's bowcaster during the Cold War.

During a skirmish on board the Eravana and later in a battle on Takodana, Han Solo used Chewbacca's current bowcaster, which he quickly came to enjoy firing due to its strong firepower. After Solo was killed during the Battle of Starkiller Base by his son, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca fired at Ren in anger, shooting his bowcaster[7] with the intention of killing the dark side adept. Nevertheless, Ren managed to survive being hit.[12]


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Non-canon appearances[]


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