Careful what you say around these folks. They are easily offended. The cost of transgression is death.
~ Star-Lord to Rocket about the Sovereign.
The Sovereign are the secondary antagonistic faction of the 2017 Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. They are a highly advanced, genetically engineered galactic race led by their high priestess Ayesha, bent on destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy to retrieve several energy batteries that they have stolen.
Hiring the Guardians
The Sovereign were first seen when they hired the Guardians to stop an interdimensional beast called the Abilisk from devouring their planet's power sources in exchange for delivering the wanted criminal Nebula to them. Despite some difficulty, the Guardians succeeded in slaying the Ablisk.
Just as the Guardians turn to leave while taking Nebula into custody, Ayesha asks about Star Lord's heritage and he replies that while his mother is from earth, he does not know his father. Ayesha calls Peter an unorthodox geneology hybrid. While Ayesha is talking, Rocket ironically claims that he was told that the Sovereign were douchebags but that this is not true at all. This shocks and insults the proud Sovereign and the Guardians leave before they can insult the Sovereign even more. However, it is revealed that Rocket secretly stole some of the batteries.
Hunting Down the Guardians
When Ayesha learns about the robbery, she angrily orders her pilots to take down the Guardians at once by using their remote-controlled ships, but the Guardians destroy several of them by flying them into an asteroid field while the rest of the ships were destroyed by an arriving Ego, who intends to channel Peter's Celestial energy to take over the universe. This left Ayesha very humiliated by this turn of events.
Still determined to take down the Guardians, the Sovereign formed a deal with Yondu Udonta and his Ravagers, employing them to capture the Guardians and bring them to the Sovereign instead. However, after tracking down Rocket, Yondu is betrayed by Taserface, who takes over as the new leader of the Ravagers and kills nearly all of Yondu's loyal soldiers. However, Yondu escapes with Rocket after killing the rest of the treacherous Ravagers, but not before a dying Taserface bugs their escape pod in order for the Sovereign to track the Guardians' current location at Ego's planet.
With that in mind, Ayesha personally commandeers a huge armada of ships to head down to Ego's core and take down the Guardians, reminding them as the consequence of betraying the Sovereign. However, Yondu and Nebula manage to create an enormous blast of energy rays that instantly destroys all of the Sovereign ships leaving an outraged Ayesha to scream in defeat inside the command ship.
Following Ego's death, Ayesha waits to go on trial with the Sovereign Council for wasting the Sovereign's resources on her plot of pursuing the Guardians. Despite the setback, Ayesha still aims to destroy the Guardians in revenge for her humiliation by presenting out her newest genetic creation, Adam.
The Sovereign are similar to the Kree, with both people being a race of smug, strict and xenophobic aliens in the Marvel universe.