It's a big deal because how the heck did he survive a ten tails tailed beast bomb (which are the equivalent of a nuclear bombs) and this could of easily used a minor living character instead like C from the cloud, Baki from the sand or even one of the many minor leaf chunin or jounin character the series has shown.
Lets see they have similar cloaks, use holograms to communicate, structure of elite members and are tracking down ninja with with special abilities (seals instead of tailed beasts), the only original things so far is that they have a bigger more organised group of field operatives than the Akatsuki had with their associates.
He survived because they needed a mist nin to tie the manga with the anime. Remember he hasn't been back to his village since the war apparently.
Edited by Bail o' Lies, Today, 03:37 AM.