My only advice is this: Use clever editing to make it seem realistic (ie, use two seperate shots, one of the saber flying in the air, and one of the actor catching it out of frame and bringing it up. Cut it right, and it should work.
Oh, and as far as getting a 3D model or a free program, here you go:Programs
Check in the AlamDV plugins section, they have some great lightsaber hilt still in there. Download the plugins and extract the images as an image stream. I'll show you how if you don't know.
Or take some pictures of a saber hilt, and in a photo editing program, make the background transparent.
EDIT: Here are some AlamDV plugins to look at. Scroll through the page, and you will notice that there are quite a few saber hilt stills. They may not be exactly what you are looking for, but with motion blur they could work:http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins/list.php?cat=34
Still, I think it might be easier just to be practical and pull it off with editing and a prop.
Last edited Sun, 4th Jun 2006, 3:13am; edited 1 times in total.