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Bowcaster: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Production information





Laser crossbow


900 credits[1]

Physical and technical specifications

35 shots[2]

  • Optimum range: 30 meters
  • Maximum range: 50 meters[3]
Usage and history


"I ain't afraid of Wookiees. It's their bowcasters that scare me."
―Anonymous Trandoshan slaver

The bowcaster (sometimes called the Wookiee Crossbow) was a Wookiee short-range or long-range projectile weapon that fired a metal quarrel enveloped in energy. Some variants had a capacity of twenty-four shots.



"I've always admired these Wookiee bowcasters. Artistry and firepower in one package."
A Wookiee with a bowcaster.

In use as early as the Jedi Civil War, the bowcaster could unleash a bolt with impressive stopping power essential to defend Wookiees against the fierce predators of Kashyyyk's forests.

A polarizing orb sat at each end of the bow, generating a magnetic field used to accelerate the quarrels. After cocking the weapon, a simple trigger sped the quarrel forward and charged it in an envelope of plasmoid. To generate the requisite potential energy for conversion into kinetic energy, the cocking spring required the strength of a Wookiee to draw back, although some modern bowcasters featured automatic cocking mechanisms for use by other species.

While decreasingly effective beyond 30 meters, the bowcaster was more powerful and accurate than typical blaster weapons. Some bowcasters could load multiple quarrels to create a spread-fire effect, further enhancing their close range effectiveness, while others could fire specially charged bolts that could ricochet off certain surfaces.

Some Wookiees made their bowcasters out of blaster rifles.


Bowcaster schematics.

Behind the scenes

Most sources, including Revenge of the Sith, depict bowcasters firing green bolts. However, in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Chewbacca's weapon fires red bolts and in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Chewbacca's weapon fires yellow bolts. This is due to the retcon that Chewbacca made his out of a stormtrooper rifle.

In Republic Commando: Hard Contact, Darman states that the bowcaster is his favorite weapon.

In all Jedi Knight series of games, the bowcaster made an appearance. There, the user had two fire functions: one that could launch one to five bolts (depending on the amount of time spent charging up the shot) and one that launched a single, bouncing bolt. The latter was more accurate at far ranges, and could be fired at a faster pace.

In both Jedi Knight\Dark Forces and Knights of the Old Republic games Wookiees are not the only bowcaster users. Many non-Wookiee mercenaries, bounty hunters, smugglers were equipped with this weapon in games, so did both Kyle and Jaden. Even the Jedi Exile and Revan used these during the Jedi Civil War and later on.

All Wookiee player characters in Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided start with the ability to craft bowcasters.



Non-canon appearances


Notes and references

  1. Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  2. Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide
  3. The Official Star Wars Fact File

This article uses material from the "Bowcaster" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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