The bowcaster is basically a magnetic accelerator with twin polarizers that use alternating polarity pulses to accelerate a highly tensile metal bowstring and propel an explosive quarrel at high speed. Because it is wrapped in an explosive energy envelope that channels the explosive force into the intended target, the fired quarrel has the appearance of an elongated blaster bolt. While considerably less advanced than a regular blaster, it delivers an equal amount of damage.
Originally developed as a hunting weapon by the Wookiees of Kashyyyk, intended to take out the most dangerous predators of that planet's dense jungles, they have become possessions of great pride. They are hand made by Wookiee craftsmen and often engraved with clan markings and pictographs showing the greatest accomplishments of the warrior wielding the weapon.
To cock the weapon, enormous strength is required, making the bowcaster unpopular outside the Wookiee race. This primitive arming system also causes the weapon to have a limited rate of fire.