In a way, the genius of the movie is that it depicts what may have been the reality in the near future: the inevitability of intergalactic travel and the accelerating evolution of technology. But it does this with a fantastically lush palette of colors, lighting, and using different media to evoke the sense of depth in space. It is all part of the whimsical nature of the film and the utter simplicity of it all.
The film centers on a trip into the nearest star system (Alpha Centauri) by the Enterprise, which has been modified so that its engines can burn hydrogen for more thrust. Data, the only human aboard the ship, has been studying this system, and has gathered quite an impressive set of data on what has happened in the past. During a small detour, they crash land on an unknown planet, which was discovered by some former members of the starship. It is from here that the story is told, as the expedition becomes stranded on the surface of the planet and has to contend with hostile animals, and continually faces difficult decisions regarding that power to use.
The film's most interesting aspect, however, is its use of color and its colors. In the early portions of the film, the visuals seem to be dimly lit, even though the stars are still quite bright. This is due to the fact that, as the Enterprise enters the black hole, the force of the gravity allows the stars to disappear in the blackness of space, while the background makes up a darker tint. This is an image and a sense of depth, which become even more intriguing when the film reaches the end credits and the photography have increased dramatically.
This particular advantage of using dark colors is mirrored in the other areas of the film as well. Onscreen, the colour is grey, which mirrors the very dark atmosphere of the film. However, there is a silver tint throughout, which stands in contrast to the natural and glowing glow of the stars in the background.
While some may consider that the dark blue tint of the movie is generic, the film actually shows the benefit of having a very specific tone in a realistic way. For instance, one of the best sequences takes place in a dark cave, with red and orange shadows coloring the cave walls.
Of course, despite the vast amount of research Data has done in the past, his detailed information may be misleading as far as outer space is concerned. In the film, the whole atmosphere of the outer space, and the environment of the universe is considered to be a grey color. The last scene, however, shows that the coloration on the moon has been subtly altered to make it look like it is composed of a gray.
However, in the mind's eye, the film seems to suggest that the colors are off because of the way the film is edited. After the first three minutes of footage, the film is shown at an extremely slow pace, and at that point, the viewer realizes that the movie is really going to feel like a lot of slow motion. However, at no point in the film do the colours and the colors of the stars and the background become distorted.
As far as the best science fiction film is concerned, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of the vibrant colors used, the majestic techniques which were used to make it look so grand, and the ability to tell a story about an alien universe using a mere flick of the finger. With each of these elements, the film lends itself to exploring different aspects of the film's story, and the environment it portrays, as well as looking at new frontiers of the human mind.