I'm trying to keep this spoiler free-ish, just in case.
Disregarding the prequel trilogy not holding many surprises when the saga is watched in release order (such as spoiling the major reveal in The Empire Strikes Back), when taken in chronological order, is the viewer intended to know the true identity of Palpatine?
I remember watching The Phantom Menace at release and it seemed the movie took pains to keep the characters separate. At the same time, it was obvious to me given the actor is the same in both trilogies.
Incidentally, I think I can count on one hand the number of times in The Clone Wars that any hint was given as to Sidious' civilian alter ego.
Is there word from Lucas that this was intentional?