1. Put sugar in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Using a small, sharp knife, slit vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape seeds from pod into sugar; add pod to sugar. Stir in rum, orange peel, and 2 cups water.
2. Stir often over high heat until mixture boils and is reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 12 minutes. Remove vanilla pod (let dry and store airtight for other uses). Let syrup cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, trim and discard ends from star fruit; cut fruit crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Using a small, sharp knife, remove any seeds.
4. Poke sharp end of 1 skewer through skin edge of each star fruit piece. Also poke 1 skewer through each pineapple chunk and strawberry.
5. Put skewers, fruit ends down, in a deep bowl. Pour syrup over fruit. Provide napkins to catch drips as guests pick up wands to eat.