Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time is an anthology of essays on the merits and flaws of Star Wars set into the humorous framing narrative of a trial in which one editor, David Brin acts as Prosecutor and Matthew Stover acts as the Defense. A droid judge examines eight different "charges" related to the Star Wars films. The judge attempts to keep the court in order, but fails at some points, due to the authors' continuing disregard for court rules. For example, Matthew Stover calls three witnesses at one point.
David Brin, science fiction writer and essayist for Salon.com, files eight charges against the Star Wars films. These are:
- Charge #1: The Politics of Star Wars Are Anti-Democratic and Elitist.
- Charge #2: While Claiming Mythic Significance, Star Wars Portrays No Admirable Religious or Ethical Beliefs.
- Charge #3: Star Wars Novels Are Poor Subsitutes for Real Science Fiction and Are Driving Real SF off the Shelves.
- Charge #4: Science Fiction Filmmaking Has Been Reduced by Star Wars to Poorly Written Special Effects Extravaganzas.
- Charge #5: Star Wars Has Dumbed Down the Perception of Science Fiction in the Popular Imagination.
- Charge #6: Star Wars Pretends to Be Science Fiction, but Is Really Fantasy.
- Charge #7: Women in Star Wars Are Portrayed as Fundamentally Weak.
- Charge #8: The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make It Ill-Suited for an Intelligent Viewer.
In parantheses, the charge the witness is called for followed by the side (P or D) which the witness is called for follows the name.
- Lou Anders (#3, P)
- Bruce Bethke (#4, D; #6, P)
- Jeanne Cavelos (#7, P)
- Don DeBrandt (#8, D)
- Keith R. A. DeCandido (#1, D)
- Richard Garfinkle (#5, D)
- John G. Hemry (#4, P)
- Tanya Huff (#5, P)
- Scott Lynch (#2, D)
- Nick Mamatas (#8, P)
- Robert A. Metzger (#6, D)
- Laura Resnick (#3, D)
- Adam Roberts (#6, D)
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch (#3, D)*
- Bill Spangler (#7, D)
- Karen Traviss (#3, D)*
- Ken Wharton (#6, P)
- John C. Wright (#2, P)
The verdict on the charges is based on user-submitted testimonies and votes on a forum located at BenBella Books' website.  Every charge has a board and some of the witnesses (including Keith R. A. DeCandido and Bill Spangler) post in the forum.