Chris Hardwick doesn't have a problem with J.J. Abrams being back at the helm for "Star Wars: Episode IX" ... 'cause he's proved he can do it, and deserves another shot.

We got Chris, certified comic and sci-fi nerd, Wednesday in Bev Hills, and asked what he thought of Disney tapping Abrams again to direct another 'Star Wars' flick ... instead of going with someone new. In other words: is the Mouse house playing it safe?

Chris thinks J.J.'s got plenty of cred in that galaxy ... far, far away -- especially considering all the director woes Disney's had lately. The man's got a point.